Outside the Lines

by Joanna Pierce on April 11, 2018

It was another ordinary trip in the van to visit our grandparents, and my sister and I were coloring to keep ourselves occupied. There I was, struggling to keep my crayon strokes inside the lines as we traversed over the bumpy highway, until one inadvertent bump jolted my eyesight toward my sister.

Normally, I would have returned my focus to the task at hand, but in that particular moment, I did a double-take. My instantaneous glance became a lingering stare. In a shell-shocked stupor, I stammered out the following phrase to best describe my sister’s activity that day: She—she’s coloring the sky!

My sister, in all her coloring-glory, had a fist-full of crayons. And, with a rainbow of colors, was drawing a bullseye on the ceiling of my parent’s conversion van.

To say my sister was punished is an understatement. We all learned a valuable lesson that day. No matter how artistic we felt, the one surface we would never, ever color again would be a ceiling of any kind. From that moment on, my sister took extreme care to make sure she didn’t color outside the lines on her piece of paper again. And, I became even more meticulous than ever before.

But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee… (I Kings 8:27, KJV).

Culturally, we’ve been taught to stay inside lines. We drive between lines on the road. We write our name between lines on a piece of paper. Lines govern our life. If we cross any line, typically there’s not a positive end-result. (Case in point, my parents never could remove the crayon from the van’s upholstery…)

We’re encouraged to think and act strategically and carefully, and not go outside the boundaries. Don’t get me wrong—there’s a time and a place not to go outside the lines. God even has safeguards in place when it comes to living a righteous life. But, the concept of staying “in the lines” somehow translates into how we think about our God, His power, and other characteristics.

We serve a God who’s the ultimate inventor of coloring outside the lines. The heavens cannot contain Him! His power cannot be measured! He is everlasting to everlasting!

We forget many times living between the lines doesn’t translate to God. We must stop trying to put Him in a box. We can’t limit who He is and what He can do. God’s bigger than anything we can imagine. He exists off the page, off the grid, and on a multitude of surfaces. Furthermore, His Spirit living inside of us isn’t meant to be constrained. The limitless God wants to be limitless inside of us!

My sister had the right idea, although the wrong medium. She wasn’t scared to take a tool in her hand and use it in another dimension. We have the Holy Ghost, and it’s a power working in us that doesn’t have any limits. We’re to use it wherever we can—no matter what the world thinks or tells us.

It’s time for the church to realize we don’t operate in a world of preset lines, and the God we serve doesn’t either. God’s given us the ability to operate outside of every line, reach Him at any time, and color the world wide open.

Can you imagine what the world would look like if we all realized God wasn’t contained to a piece of paper just in front of us? The world is your canvas. God is everywhere. Allow Him to be the big God that He is—and let Him be that big God in you. It’s time to start coloring outside the lines.