books · fiction · tips · writing

God in a Box


Kari Trumbo

While Jesus came to this world to be our perpetual Christmas gift, putting the Lord in a box isn’t a gift to anyone.

You wouldn’t think so, but most fiction (science fiction and fantasy excluded) must at least stay in the realm of the possible. Stretch too far away from what could happen and readers roll their eyes and close the book. So how can we portray the glory of God and His amazing grace without enclosing him within our self-imposed parameters?

I’ve read stories that seemed too good to be true and in Christian fiction it is easy to quip that God can do everything, so why shouldn’t they. The problem with that? In most cases, it feels trite…a little too convenient. While we want to portray the truth and the amazing power of the Lord, how can we write about it without making non-believers and believers alike roll their eyes?

Look to how the Lord answers prayer in your own life. Does He act like a cosmic vending machine, doling out all the wonders you ask for, just as you ask? Perhaps He does in your life, but not so in mine. He tends to answer my prayers in ways I couldn’t even fathom…and occasionally, He even says no.

We will never do complete justice to our Heavenly Father in our writing, but we can come close by writing answers to prayer in the same ways in which He answers our own. It will not only make our novels more interesting, but it will convey that the Lord is amazing and has our every need in mind, not just our current strife. There is also the matter of pain. We do sometimes go through pain to come out on the other side a changed person, one who has grown in their faith. Sometimes the answer to prayer, even in our novels, has to be no so that the character can have the growth they need.

Don’t put God in a box and make Him bless on command unless you truly feel it is the best way to convey His love. Doing so might give a non-believer the idea that we believe so that our lives will be problem-free, which we know isn’t the case. We have a rare chance to show the truth, that following can be difficult, but the peace and love are worth it.


2 Corinthians 13:14  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.