Perfect example: If you have inflammation in your body you would be wise to avoid night-shade vegetables. (FYI, apparently these are things that grow at night.) Included in this lovely mix of precious things I love are tomatoes, peppers (green, red, yellow, orange), eggplant (not a big deal because no one in my family will eat it anyway), and white potatoes. There are a few other things, but those are the 'painful' ones. When we had this conversation, I had heard about this whole night shade thing years ago but never really investigated it. Then when I saw the list I wanted to pretend I didn't. And I was faced with a choice. Eat those things and feel the same or take them out and feel better.
Now, will I do this perfectly? Heavens no. A girl has to eat a normal slice of pizza once in a while, and a holiday with out mashed potatoes and gravy should be illegal. The point is, the majority of the time, I have to make a conscious choice to do what I know is best.
Realizing this opened my eyes to something I apparently needed to relearn. Pslam 16:6 reads The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed I have a beautiful inheritance. (CSB)
A lot of times I, maybe more we, tend to think of God's restrictions as a way to steal all our fun. However, if we think about this logically, we know that is a lie of the devil, the same one he got Eve with in the garden. God doesn't give us boundaries to ruin our lives, He does it so we can have an abundant life, a life that gives us the rewards we truly want....the fruits of the Spirit. Especially that all-elusive peace one.
Now, if my mom who loves me, reminded me of what I knew to be true about the night shade vegetables and I didn't heed her advice, it might be easy for her to get frustrated when she knows what is truly in my best interest. (She is a nurse by the way.) Of course my mom is human and we humans in our very flesh covered and influenced bodies tend to let our egos get the best of us when we give someone sound advice about their situation and they don't listen. So, let's just imagine for a minute what this is like from God's perspective.
Jesus says in John 15:11 I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. (CSB) Jesus didn't speak to hear Himself talk, He spoke with purpose, and His purpose was so that we could have His joy. On top of which, Psalm 119:72 says Instruction from your lips is better for me than thousands of gold and silver pieces. (CSB) That will preach right there. Why? Because if we consider that all scripture testitfies of Jesus and that Jesus is the Word made flesh, all of that Word is meant to give us joy. And God is willing to speak and tell us everything we need to know and we either ignore or avoid His directions.
A little over a week ago, I shared a quote on facebook that Kyle Idleman put up from his book Grace Is Greater. He said, The worst thing that could happen is that you spend your life trying to outrun God because you think He's chasing you to collect what you owe - when really He's chasing you to give you what you could never afford.
Sometimes I wonder if we avoid God's instructions because we think His boundaries are going to come with a cost that is so high we never consider that what we might get in return makes them the greatest bargain we'll ever see. Afterall, according to the Psalm, they are better than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
Maybe it's time to start letting God speak freely, knowing He is going to speak what we need to hear, not what we want to hear. He will continue to love us even if we don't heed His calling immediately because He knows His words won't fall flat and will accomplish the purpose He's sending them for eventually. Maybe it's just time for us to understand that it's in our best interest to invest His truth in our lives immediately to get the best return.