“Boundaries are not prisons; they are pleasant places that provide protection.” Jennifer Rothschild
Recently God asked John and me to begin the process of downsizing to a smaller house. For the past few weeks I’ve grieved the loss of the house we’ve had for almost twenty years. I’ve wrestled with God, asking why. Then I “crossed over” from wanting my way to wanting God’s way; I thanked God for the opportunity to downsize. He has shown me this is for our good and gave me Psalm 16:6 as His promise to us. “The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.”
Dr. Henry Cloud defines a boundary as “a property line. A boundary keeps the good stuff in and the bad stuff out.” Boundary lines are to protect us. Even though I don’t fully understand the reason God is asking us to move, I do know He always has our best interest at heart. He’s the Alpha and the Omega and can see the full picture. He alone knows what is up ahead for us.
He then reminded me what He taught us in 2000 when He asked us to give up a ministry we had started. The exchange always goes up. In other words, what is next will always be better. Just as I loved each of the next stages of my kids’ lives more than the previous ones, I believe what God has next for us will be even better than what we presently have. He encouraged me to embrace and move forward to this next season; to dream and let my anticipation grow and expand. It’s as if He’s directing me to let go of the past in order to wholeheartedly grasp the future.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:18-19). But I first had to wrestle, grieve my loss, and express my fears, before I could get to the place of acceptance, surrender, and peace.
I’m reminded of the television series in the sixties called, “Father Knows Best.” My heavenly Daddy does know what is best for me and His plans for me are to prosper me, not to harm me, to give me a hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) In my heart of hearts I know God’s boundary lines are an expression of His love for me.
“Pleasure without God, without the sacred boundaries, will actually leave you emptier than before.”
How have God’s boundary lines for you been a source of protection and for your good?
What in the past do you need to let go of in order to embrace the future?