The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
Several years ago I memorized that verse. While most of my life I had been resistant to boundaries that I did not choose, I had learned at that time that the ones God puts in place are simply for my benefit. He knows me better than I know myself, He knows what is going to keep me in the safest place for the health of my heart, soul, and mind, and He knows what will keep me within His plan for my life. Any time I have ventured outside of the boundary lines He has clearly defined I have ended up in a heap of trouble, either emotionally or spiritually.
A lot of my adherence to the safety zone that God has given me has been largely based on a desire to be obedient to His direction. Not that that's a bad thing, but I've managed to continually look at it as having a cause and effect relationship in my life and that generally leads to legalistic thoughts which never work out well. Why? Because at heart, I am rebellious to the core. The minute I feel trapped, I want to break free in the worst way. Tell me I can't have or can't do, and I will crave it more than I need my next breath.
Perfect example: I was successful in losing some weight last year because my boundary lines were clearly defined. But once I saw that I could do it, I got lax about the place holders. I assumed I could do it on my own and manage to experience continued success. Sadly it resulted in utter failure. And while I didn't end up back where I started in the first place physically, mentally and emotionally, I was far worse off. Enter self-condemnation and shame. I think sometimes that needs to happen so that you can see that tools God has given you aren't a crutch, but rather a gift. It kind of makes me think of all the times He's provided the way out from under temptation and I felt like I needed to dig my own tunnel out from under it instead of taking His. Clearly you can see I have a rather stubborn streak.
This morning I read Psalm 147. Verse 14 says: He grants peace to your borders and satisfies you with the finest of wheat.
The one thing I didn't realize until the disaster of regaining some of what I had lost, was that I lost something of much greater value....peace. Because here's the thing, when we are walking in obedience with God, and in step with the direction His Spirit is leading, we are at peace. Regardless of what the situation may look like to others, or what the circumstances surrounding us appear to be, we have a peace that makes no earthly sense because we know, deep in our hearts, we are doing the right thing. Peace is the ultimate blessing that comes from the boundary lines and grace is what He pours out on us for just doing what we were supposed to do. It's not that we deserve anything extra, He gives it just because He can. Because He's ultimately a good, good father, and that's just what He does.
But He doesn't stop there, He sees it straight through to dessert. Because not only do we get peace and overflowing grace, but He satisfies us with the finest of wheat, the Bread of Life, to keep us from desiring anything else. Every.Single.Time. He sets us up for success. How can we possibly see that kind of beauty and turn it down?
I don't know what kind of borders you are walking within, or without. But I can say that if God has given them to you, defined them for you, and asked you to stick within them, it's for a reason: He has something to give you through them. And in a world as chaotic as ours can be, some peace in the borders seems like a pretty good idea to me.
Lord, we are so sorry for the times we have disregarded what You have clearly defined as Your best for us. We always think we know better and we are always wrong. But You never give up on us because Your love is greater than our sin and Your grace is greater than our shame. Help us to stay within the guardrails You have given us, knowing they are for our benefit. Help us to live a life worthy of the callings we have received and let it shine the light of Your amazing glory. We love you. Amen.