Content, Even With These Boundaries
We don’t like boundaries. We just don’t. Most kids would rather eat junk food, do chores only when we feel like it, and stay up until 3am than follow a parent-enforced diet, housework rules and bedtime. The bad part is that kids that don’t like boundaries will become adults that don’t like boundaries. What then?
But is it even possible to obtain a life without boundaries? No. Hurricane Harvey sent us a strong reminder of that. We can muster up all our human strength, and yet there’s a boundary – we will never have power to steer a hurricane into a damage-free area. We can apply everything we’ve ever learned, and yet there’s a boundary – we are not able to perfectly prepare for every disaster ahead of time. Some people who had a baby scheduled to arrive the same time that Harvey was arriving. They would have done anything to make sure that there was always a non-flooded street between them and the hospital…but they ran into a boundary and were helpless to control that. Others are currently facing additional boundaries right now – I’d like to be sleeping under my own roof right now – but I can’t. I would love to keep all my furniture and flooring intact – but much has been damaged. I sure wish I could say some magic words and cause every hurting heart in Houston to be healed. But I can’t. There’s a boundary to what I can do. I’m not God.
Can we be content, even as small human beings like us must live with boundaries?
Yes, we can, for we worship a God who can do more than all we ask or even imagine. King David ruled a country – and was well aware of his personal boundaries. But rather than kick and scream like a kid who wants to stay up late but is forced to go to bed early, he was content with his boundaries. Why? Listen to the Scripture verses below and list all the reasons.
1 Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge. 2 I said to the LORD, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing…” 4 The sorrows of those will increase who run after other gods. I will not…take up their names on my lips. 5 LORD, you have assigned me my portion and cup; you have made my lot secure. 6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.” (selected verses of Psalm 16)
- V.1 – David was content with his limited boundaries because he found refuge and safety within the LORD’s boundaries…and he knew that the LORD would keep him right there.
- V.2 – David enjoyed that the promises of God were his most special possession.
- V.4 – David grasped the alternative – that running after other gods – who promise some sort of a life without boundaries – would only increase his sorrow in the end.
- V.5 – David was content that the LORD himself had assigned his lot in life. And he trusted him to help him through anything that came up.
- V.6 – He admitted he had personal human boundaries…but at the same time was always encircled by the LORD’s love and protection. This pleasant situation would end in a delightful inheritance. There was no boundary line barring him from eternal life in heaven!
That’s really the main point, isn’t it? Even though we are limited in our power, in our strength, in our endurance, in our wisdom, in our love and ability to help…Jesus isn’t. He has personally forgiven every single sin of your past, present and future. There is no boundary between God and you any longer. One day in heaven we will get to see God’s brilliance and majesty with our very own eyes! So don’t shake your fist at God because of your boundaries; instead, be content with them. Because even though YOU must live with boundaries, you worship a God who doesn’t.
Prayer: Savior of all, change our hearts and make us content to live under the boundaries you have assigned to us. Give us freedom to grieve the terrible losses caused by Harvey. Give us endurance as we help the many people impacted by the flooding, one at a time. Give us peace as we embrace the eternal truth that we are not in control, and never will be. Cause us to be so deeply in love with you that we are able to say, “These boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places for me; surely I have a delightful inheritance.” Amen.