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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
I’m currently studying the book of Job. Truthfully…it’s not my favorite.
What do you think the book of Job is about?
Most people, at least by the studies, commentaries, and posts I’ve found, believe Job is about why the righteous suffer.
I disagree. Wholeheartedly.
The book of Job is about relationship.
In the beginning, Job 1-3, Job knew of God. In the end, Job 38-42, Job KNEW God. That my friends is the point of Job’s story.
Are you going through hard times right now? Please save yourself the agony of the why that may never be answered (Job never found out why).
Instead focus on the who. Who is Jesus to you? Who do you want to be?
Use these hard times to grow and be a better person that you were before they happened.
I know it sucks. I’ve been there.
I’ve spent months battling a disease, having surgeries, and lying in a hospital bed. #notontodeath
I’ve lost a house, two cars, and had to depend on other people to help me financially. Literally living on less than $200 a month for over a year. Read more about how I felt going through it here. #pridekiller
I lost 3 of the most important people in the world to me in a 6 month time span. #deepdeepgrief
Sometimes seasons in your life just suck. Sometimes we lose. Sometimes we get sick. Sometimes we suffer.
If you read Hebrews 11, the Hall of Faith, many of them went through rough stuff too! BUT…just like with the 3 boys in the fiery furnace, they were not in it alone! And neither are you!
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel…” Isaiah 43:2-3 NIV
Point to ponder while you wander…
Life is not always easy, even if you are a believer!
BUT every season you go through can help you grow wiser, stronger, more compassionate, and closer to God.
Or you can choose to shrink into resentment, bitterness, and blame God.
The choice is yours.