And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best . . . for it is God who works in you to act in order to fulfil his good purpose. (Phil 1:9; 2:13)
“Find freedom by accepting the boundaries of your domain.”
This line from Sarah Young’s devotional Jesus Calling hit me right between the eyes.
In so many ways during my life, I have strained to go beyond the boundaries that God has given me as a human being, and tried to encroach on what belongs to Him. My motives have been good — or at least I thought so. I wanted to fix situations, repair relationships, rescue people — whatever or whoever wasn’t running smoothly or headed in the right direction. I wanted to ease discomfort, make up for whatever was lacking for those I cared about. I had great expectations of myself, and great hopes for them. I’ve been painfully slow to realize that I was making repeated incursions into God’s territory; wanting what I thought was best for others and thinking it was up to me to make it happen.
I didn’t stop to wonder who had put me in charge of this little section of God’s universe. I just plowed ahead and put the responsibility on my own shoulders. No wonder they ache so much! I went beyond my domain, and that’s a not-so-great beyond.
In my zeal to fix, I didn’t stop to consider my qualifications or fitness for the task. I didn’t question whether or not God had assigned me this role. It didn’t occur to me to wonder what this revealed about my level of trust in God to be actively involved in these people and situations, working all things together for good. Some of these “all things” were painful; surely it was up to me to be on hand with a supply of band-aids, if not advice for a full recovery plan.
Helping, comforting, listening, and most of all loving are part of each of our domains under God. “Under” is the operational word here. When I decide what’s best in helping someone else, I’m going beyond my domain. The place I need to live is under His wisdom, His direction, His patience. I can trust Him with my life, and with the lives of others.
Forgive me, Father, for all the times I’ve gone beyond my domain and into Yours. Keep me, I pray, under Your direction and protection, secure in our connection. May I find the freedom of knowing my boundaries and staying within them. I ask it in the precious and powerful name of Jesus. Amen.