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What do you think of when you see this picture?
Do you think of home? Family? Protection? Style? Curb appeal?
I took photo this yesterday because it reminded me of wisdom passed on to me…
Don’t build walls. Build a fence.
If you’ve ever read Ezra and Nehemiah you might remember that the bulk of it is about rebuilding the defensive walls. Defensive walls for a city are a good thing. Defensive walls around a person, not so much.
If you build walls and isolate yourself, you may be protected from hurt, but you’re also not living an abundant life nor are you growing.
Tear down the walls, and build a fence instead. A fence is like a healthy boundary.
The gate in your fence allows you to participate. It allows you to communicate. And it allows you to let people in, some will be in the yard, some in the house, and some won’t be allowed past the gate. That’s why the gate opens, closes, and locks.
Only Jesus should be allowed access to every part of you. He has top secret clearance and need to know.
Everyone else has a varying degree of clearance and need to know. You need boundaries in every relationship.
Healthy boundaries foster your growth.
But walls so high they block out the sun, stunt your growth.
There have been times in my life that my walls were so high and so thick that I missed opportunities that God Himself provided for me. I simply was not open to anyone or anything.
I trusted no one. Not even God.
Truth is I was alive but not living. And I was miserable. But I stayed there far too long because I felt safe in the little world I made for myself.
It took time. It took effort. It took counseling. But I slowly began opening up to trusting others.
It isn’t always easy. You will make mistakes. I did! You’ll probably fall and fail a time or two. I do! Sometimes you will trust the wrong person. But you’ll learn and grow, just like I am.
Point to ponder while you wander…
Life is both miraculous and brief. So…
Maybe replace you walls with a fence and open the gate a bit.
Come out to play.
Be open to new adventures.
John 10:10… “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” NKJV
Isaiah 53:18-19… “Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” NKJV
Psalm 91:2… “I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.‘” NKJV
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
Today I realized that I can be amazed every single day. Awe and wonder is literally a lifestyle choice. I can choose to look for and experience joy in the everyday. I can choose to expect miracles. I can choose to say, “Father God, what awesome and wonderful things do you have planned for us today?”
I am the only one who determines how I receive from God and perceive the world around me! Only I have the power to decide whether I embrace the awe and wonder of life or whine and complain about it. I am all powerful in how I choose to react.
I know the faith walk ain’t for sissies. Believing God when all the evidence points against it is difficult, especially when you’ve been hurt and disappointed. But that’s exactly the time to look for awe and wonder in your life. That’s when you need to choose to expect good!
Why do you think Jesus called those little bitty kiddos the greatest in Matthew 18?
Think about it? Little kids just believe, and they walk around amazed by everything they see. Everything is new and exciting. That’s exactly what childlike faith looks like. That is what pleases and impresses Jesus.
What if today you expected awe and wonder? What if you went around knowing that our Father has good surprises for you everyday, hidden amongst the ordinary and mundane? What if you truly believed God is for you and not against you? What if today you just believe that God loves you? What if you just received His love like a toddler being picked up and cradled by their daddy?
I will leave you with this…the Greek word “know” in Romans 8:28 actually means to see therefore to know. It is connected to the word optomai (op’-tom-ahee), which means to gaze at something with wide open eyes, as at something remarkable. It means to be amazed by what you’re seeing. This isn’t a factoid to put in your knowledge bank, it is something you witness and are blown away by.
“And we stare long in amazement,in complete wonder, that the Creator of everything loves us so much that He causes everything in our (those loving and living for Him) lives to work together for our good benefit.” Romans 8:28 Jill Translation