Psalm 16:5-6 The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
Over the last year, I have been reminded of how pleasant my boundaries really are.
It was terrifying to think that we were choosing to leave our comfortable (and completely remodeled) home, huge yard and awesome neighborhood to move to a little house with a much smaller yard in another town because we felt God calling us to become debt free.
We felt an unshakable urge to challenge what really matters. Hint-it is not how much stuff we have. We went into this challenge 100% and sold tons of our stuff because we wouldn’t be able to fit it in the new house. We also bought a house that needed some remodeling after being a rental property for several years. I was afraid that we wouldn’t adjust well. I was afraid the school system would disappoint me. I was afraid but confident that this was the path meant for us.
Spoiler!!! This season has been a huge blessing. Choosing to be obedient in where God was leading has taught me so much about contentment and about being grateful for the boundary lines I am given! In less than a year, we have been able to pay off thousands of dollars in debt. We were able to pay off 1 student loan, 2 credit cards, a vehicle, and now are about to pay off the LAST debt….my student loan!!
By following God’s leading to a “smaller” boundary line…we are going to become debt free really soon!! Because we scaled back so much, we were able to become unchained to these payments! Taking the leap of faith has been completely amazing and freeing! Our financial boundary lines have expanded because of our physical ones shrinking.
Just think about your boundaries for a minute. Where have you been planted and are you blooming there? Or do you resist your lines? Are you resting in peace or flailing about? Do you need to make a change and thrive within a boundary instead of sinking outside of those lines?
We are given so many boundaries.
We are limited by time, space, knowledge, our physical bodies, our voice, family size, income, our circumstances, and much more.
Have you ever considered that boundaries can be good for us?
I don’t know about you, but I am constantly trying to push my boundaries. If I could just read another book, maybe I would be smarter? If I just exercised 20 more minutes than usual, I could make my body live longer and look younger. If I would just hustle harder, I could make more money. If I could just have more hours in the day…..oh, I would accomplish so much!
We are given 24 hours in a day and need to sleep for a decent chunk of those hours. The boundary of time is good for us. I know that so many of us would extend our days if we were able to.
We would still do it, even if we knew the consequences.
Our bodies are made in such a way where we need sleep and need rest. When we push these boundaries too far, we break down. We get sick or injured. Our minds can go cray without sleep (just ask any new mom)!
I have gotten sick or injured SO many times from pushing my boundaries. Just this summer, I was forced to rest my body from a foot injury. I ran too many miles and pushed too hard during many of those miles. As a consequence, my body rebelled and broke down. I even tried to keep running with the constant pain. Finally, I was forced to rest the foot. I am also still dealing with the recovery of that foot. Even though I haven’t had pain in weeks…I still have to be conscious of how many miles and how hard I am running every time I am on the road. I’ve learned my boundary there!
We are also given the boundary of where we live. Our physical body can only be in one place at a time. That is good! Many times I have wished to be in two places at once. But would that really be a good thing? Nope. I would screw up twice as much!
Think about this for a second.
We are limited.
We cannot go everywhere we desire. This might seem restrictive or unpleasant…but our Creator knows best. He can be in more than one place. He can exist outside of one tiny planet. He has no time barriers. He is the one that made us and knows what kind of lines we need drawn. I think so many times we push our human boundaries because we want to be something we are not. We wish to be like God…and want to be able to do it all! In SO many ways, we are NOT like Him…and that is good. In our weakness, we can see how fragile we are and how much we really need a God to rely on.
Do you embrace your boundary lines as “pleasant” and purposeful? Or do you resent them…always wanting more. Are you grateful and content for their protection? Am I content with where I have been planted? Am I content with the boundaries God has given me? Those are hard questions to answer.
That word seems pretty elusive. We are constantly being bombarded with marketing, advertising, and messages of that we need more to be happy. We somehow think that if we had more…we could finally be content. More money. More kids. More stuff. A better car. More everything.
In verses 5-6 of Psalm 16, the attitude is showing gratefulness and contentment. Not resentment or greed.
We too can experience contentment and confidence in the Lord’s care! He cares for us and has given us what we need. His provision is enough. He knows our needs and what boundaries are good for us. We can let go…and let God be God.
I studied the book of Joshua this past summer and these verses are also referring back to the allotments that the tribes of Israel were given. They were led through the wilderness, miraculously went through a river (at flood stage), took a city by marching around it, and eventually entered into the land that they were promised. Each tribe was then given a specific location with boundaries. These boundaries were a pleasant and joyful thing. They signified that the people finally had a home and a land to give as an inheritance to their descendants. They were no longer wandering, but grounded.
All except the Levites.
Joshua 18:7 “The Levites, however, do not get a portion among you, because their priestly service of the LORD is their inheritance.”
Wow! Even if we DON’T get a huge chunk of land or get that ginormous physical blessing…our Lord is enough!
He is our inheritance and will take care of us.
Comparison to other people’s boundary lines does not cultivate contentment.
The Levites did not get any land. Yet, the Lord himself was their portion! It might have even looked like they were forgotten or overlooked by the world’s standards of wealth…but we know better!
If my boundary lines are big or small, the Lord is still my inheritance. If we are never able to adopt again, I am content and grateful with the blessing that we have in our daughter. If I am given a huge house full of lovely things or a small one, the physical stuff will all wither away. But God…he is forever!
I hope that this gave you something to think about today and that you are able to be grateful for the “pleasant boundaries” that have been drawn for you!