other (adj): being not of the same kind; different
terms (noun): provisions that determine the nature and scope of an agreement; conditions
“You’re tied down to the mundane; I’m in touch with what is beyond your horizons. You live in terms of what you can see and touch. I’m living on other terms.” John 8:23
What I can see and touch. What I’ve experienced and how I feel. And probably even more specifically on any given day: how much sleep I’ve had and what is going on in my world.
That’s how most of us make sense of life. On our own terms. And it’s okay because God created us this way. He made us visual, tactile, emotional, human. We exist in limited time and space, on a planet that has days and nights, water and land, seasons and weather and gravity.
And it seems that is how we understand him, too.
We each have a unique image of Jesus based on our experiences, our knowledge, and our relationships. We read about God as a loving father, a king, a righteous judge, a shepherd, a humble baby, a carpenter, a teacher, a loyal friend, a fiery spirit, a risen savior. We picture him in heaven, in a church, or maybe out in nature. And we try to fit him into our own little individual boxes shaped by the “conditions” that make sense to us.
But Jesus wants to remind us that he operates on much different terms than we do. The limits we live within do not apply to the Son of God. He is not restricted like we are. He is “in touch with what is beyond our horizons,” seeing and knowing and creating and redeeming in ways that we can’t even imagine yet. He is all the good things we imagine about him, and infinitely more.
When we doubt because we cannot see, we can remember that he sees and knows every detail about every single thing.
When scary things are happening, we can hold onto the one who is in complete control.
When we are feeling lost or lonely, we can lean into his unfailing love and rest in his constant presence.
When we are anxious, worried, and overwhelmed, we can trust him to calm us with a peace beyond our understanding.
When we face endings, challenges, obstacles of time and distance and lack of human ability, we can remember that we have our miracle-working, mountain-moving, grace-lavishing Jesus.
And he is not in any kind of box.
Invite him in: Look up, look around, and take a deep breath of Jesus. Thank him for being literally everywhere, for knowing everything, and for being more powerful than any force in the universe. You can trust his compassion and his deep desire to heal and restore and bring good. Let him open your heart and mind to the reality of life on his terms today.