The lines that have fallen

hawkes-bay-field-b-whelan

There is a verse in the psalms that I have been reminded of a lot recently, which is to do with the relationships and the circumstances of our lives.

Our family relationships and friendships. Our work. Our home. Even the city where we live.

It is a poem of King David where he says of these things in his life:

The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance – Psalm 16:6. 

It is a declaration of God’s goodness, His faithful and generous provision. The beauty with which He decorates our lives.

It is also a reference to boundaries – the way our circumstances are defined, the nature and extent of these. For me it is this idea that God in His sovereign purpose and goodness has ordained the details and parameters of our lives specifically and deliberately. For our greatest good, and His greatest glory.

I have a beautiful inheritance, David declares. Another translation says, indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.

I love this! I love the gratitude in this. So often I’m striving so hard for something ahead, something else, something more, that I miss what God has already given me. And not just meagrely, not just as an afterthought, God has and always gives lavishly. When I look back, I am without words at how God orchestrated situations and opportunities in my life. He has given me far more than I could ever have hoped to have had without Him. So when I pause, and think about His hand in my life, I am humbled by His goodness to me, and am so grateful.

But it’s this idea of boundaries also, that really interests me at the moment. I said at the start that I have been reminded of this verse a lot lately. A friend of mine happened to mention it yesterday which was quite coincidental, but the reminder has really come from God Himself. It is because I am wanting to move forward on something, and I am not strong enough for it yet, and every time I step in that direction, the Holy Spirit powerfully cautions me to stop. Even though I know God is far more trustworthy than my own limited sense in these things, I’m finding this cautioning annoying because of my drive – His conviction remains, but so does my impatience. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places, is the verse He keeps impressing on my spirit. I recognise what He is saying to me. He has ordained my present boundaries, and it is true, His ordinance in my life is pleasant – and it is good, and safe, and beautiful, and blessed.

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~ by Birgit on March 20, 2011.

7 Responses to “The lines that have fallen”

  1. How true Birgit, When that happens to me there is something that i am trying to skip around and run ahead of the Holy spirit and i have to go back to Galatians 5 and read the fruits of the Holy spirit and repent!

  2. Such a gracious reminder, Birgit, how God is so good to us when He sets boundaries for us.
    xxx

  3. God is so good to us. This reminds me of Psalm 139:5 where it speaks of God ‘hedging’ or ‘hemming’ us in behind and before and laying His hand upon us. This ‘hedging’ speaks of pressure and enclosure which is not always comfortable- and it’s so true that it can be so annoying and frustrating if we have this vision but it’s not yet the right time. I also see it as the discipline of God which is completely for our benefit (Hebrews 12:10) and because of His great love for us. I’m so thankful for His goodness to us:)

  4. Such a great point Cyril! As well as growing in patience, learning to walk in time with God, is also about growing in trust, I’m finding. Lots to grow in. So good to hear from you, hope you’re well.

    ***

    Thanks so much Laura. It’s true what you say about God’s goodness revealed in this. There’s a sense of peace and assurance I find, staying within His boundaries. A few verses on in Psalm 16, David speaks about feelings of joy and confidence, and safety and rest as we trust God in what He has planned for us (v 9). Love B ox

    ***

    It’s so good what you’ve said here, Rain, and I so relate. It’s interesting that reading about the ‘hemming in’ in Psalm 139:5, we often view this in the sense of God’s protection and that assurance and peace that comes with knowing He is guarding our lives, but I like what you’ve said about the other side to this – the way this hemming in can also feel stifling, as if pressing in on us. It is not always comfortable, or welcome sometimes. But then I’m reminded of the fact He is a Father, our Father, and He loves us too much to not protect us in this way.
    Love B xo

  5. Hi Birgit, we are like fish in the water, if we stay in the beautiful blue calm waters we will be safe and fulfilled, but when we try to escape the water, and live on land, our bodies cannot cope as it has not been created for these circumstances…we will soon die on dry land because we disobeyed our limitations / boundaries, just like Adam&Eve. The restrictions (if you think of the commandments) have also been created by our loving God, to protect us and to enlarge our capacity – yes, it is indeed good, and safe, and beautiful, and blessed :)

  6. Thank you, Birg, for bringing this out. When I first started reading I wondered, “But, it’s not always pleasant. Not everyone gets what David got!” However, by the end of the post I realized the point of boundaries. To me, it may not always seem pleasant, but in it, I am safe. In Him, I am safe…and blessed…

  7. Thanks so much for your thoughts here Des, and the sweet analogy too. I really like what you’ve said here about viewing God’s law, and His parameters for our lives, not as restrictive, but as a way for us to thrive, for our greatest good. Lots of love, see you soon, B ox

    ***

    So lovely to see you Michelle. I relate very much to your points here, especially at the start. The further I go with God, the more unanswered questions there seem to be, the more He allows my experience of Him, and of faith in Him, to really shift and change. One thing I’m thankful for in my own questioning and I suppose, wrestling, is that He truly never lets us go (Jn.10:28) and never removes His Spirit or His grace.
    With love to you, Birg ox

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