When Your “Boundary Lines” Don’t Feel Pleasant

Do you ever read Scripture and think: I know I should be able to turn this into a prayer and pray these exact words back to the Lord. I know this is what my mind should think and my heart should feel. I know that this is true…but I am struggling to believe this and I can’t pray it in honesty. I don’t feel this way. It doesn’t seem to be true in my life right now. 

I have. 

Maybe the better question is not “have you ever?” but “what do you do when you find yourself in that situation?”.  

It’s easy in moments like this to gloss over these verses or passages for “another time” and to shy away from taking a deeper look at our hearts. It’s just easier to move on than to wrestle with our emotions, to ask hard questions, to repent where needed and to cling more tightly with a humble heart that deeply desires to proclaim ALL of God’s Word as perfect, trustworthy, pure, reliable, righteous, sweet and rewarding (Psalms 19). 

In these days of social distancing and stay-at-home orders, Psalm 16:5-6 may be one of “those” kinds of verses: 

“Lord, you are my portion and my cup of blessing; you hold my future. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.” 

For some of us who are homebodies, we love that our “boundary lines” have kept us at home. Our homes are one of the most “pleasant places” in our lives! We know our heavenly inheritance is beautiful beyond comprehension, but we are also able to fully rejoice in our earthly inheritance, as well! But for some of us, these days have been hard. Really hard. The boundary lines have reminded us just how difficult our lives are. There are those whose husbands are drunk more than not and the results are felt by all in an uncomfortably intimate way. Some are dealing with rebellious children who have come home for the duration of the semester and have turned the home into anything but a haven of rest. For others, it’s just the compilation of it all: the homework, the fighting, the mess, and the constant of those realities as they wake up each day. 

Oh friends, if we are in Christ then this verse is true for us no matter what we may be facing today. His boundary lines are not to keep us “stuck” but to teach us to learn that true freedom is not found in our situations but in HIM. When He is our portion, when He is enough…when we can say that our “cup overflows” because His salvation is ours and nothing can pluck us from His hands…only then will we begin to see even the hard places as pleasant places. Only then will we find great hope as we look to our future, knowing it is held in our Savior’s merciful, gracious hands! 

May our hearts be encouraged by these great truths, but might we also grab ahold of Psalm 27:13-14 this very moment, this very day: 

“I am certain that I will see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart be courageous. Wait for the Lord.” 

The Bible is clear that the blessing of the Lord’s goodness is not just seen in Heaven, but is our reality NOW. We can be certain to see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living! Do you see His blessings? Do you see His goodness? The boundary lines are pleasant and He is the only portion that satisfies our souls. Wait for Him. Wait on Him!  

And, while we wait, I encourage you to read Spurgeon’s commentary on Psalms 27:14. His reminder can’t help but fill the sails of our souls with hope! 

“We all know this world is an unpromising field for faith. According to our varied experiences, we must all subscribe to the declaration that this earth is, more or less, a valley of tears, that it is not our rest, for it is polluted. There are too many thorns in this nest for us to abide comfortably in it. This world is under the curse, so it still brings forth thorns and thistles, and in the sweat of our brows we eat our bread until we return to the earth out of which man was first taken. Were this world really to be our home, it would be a terrible fate for us. It would be sad, indeed, for us to know that we had continually to dwell where the shadow of the curse always lingers and where we have only the shadow of the cross to sustain us under it. But faith comes into this unpromising field and believes she will see the goodness of the Lord even here. She rushes into the fiercest fight that ever rages, fully believing she will see the banner of the Lord’s mercy and truth waving even there. She bears the burden and heat of the earthly toil and expects to experience the Lord’s faithful love beneath it all. She knows she will see more of her God in the land beyond the flood, but still expects to see the goodness of the Lord even in the land of the living that is so distracted and disturbed with sorrows and cares, trials and tribulations.”   

So, even if you woke up this morning and your boundary lines didn’t feel very pleasant, don’t lose heart. Your future is secure, your inheritance is beautiful, the Lord is enough, and you will see His goodness even here, even now. Wait for it….wait on Him! 

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