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Gratefulness Within

One of the things I love most about the month of November is the history it represents. I love hearing the stories of those who embarked on a journey in search of religious freedom. From the retelling of the Mayflower to the school plays showing that first meal shared with the Native Americans and the settlers, I find myself thanking God again to have been born in a country that was founded by people who loved Him more than their earthly king. But the sad part of it all is to recognize how far our country has drifted from its original desire of freedom to worship our Creator.

The root lies in our boundaries and was established by God in the Old Testament. Over and over we read where God set boundaries for their land, boundaries in their diet, and boundaries in their way of life. Yet the nature of us humans is that we often view boundaries as something that 'boxes us in' instead of recognizing the truth that there lies our protection. As the Israelites stayed within the boundaries God set for them, they remained in covenant fellowship with Him. That covenant brought His protection and His blessings. But instead of allowing Him to bless them and move the boundaries when He saw it was safe, they chose to move them on their own.

We train our kids not to run across the road chasing a stray ball. That boundary is set for their protection. So it is with our heavenly Father. He wants the best for us and knows what boundaries will protect us from being hurt, both personally and in our nation. Our forefathers sought God's guidance when setting up the original documents that established this nation. They saw an importance of keeping Sunday set aside for worship. They set up schools to include teachings from the Bible. Most colleges established in the early days of our country were created as Bible colleges. Yet today those same colleges are known as some of the most liberal in our nation. Why? They moved the boundaries they were founded on.

I love the verses in Proverbs that describe the boundaries God set up even for the Earth.

When He prepared the heavens, I was there,

When He drew a circle on the face of the deep,

When He established the clouds above,

When He strengthened the foundations of the deep,

When He assigned the sea its limit, so that the waters would not transgress His command,

When He marked out the foundations of the earth.......

Proverbs 8:27-29

Often we become frustrated with life and are ready to 'bust out on our own', to do our own thing. Let's imagine, instead, what life would be like if we chose to ask Him what boundaries He desires for us to live in daily. What if we asked Him to help us become grateful for the road He is taking us on in order to rejoice in His timing for our lives? Like flood waters that break over the boundary lines, to go out from our boundaries can bring destruction.

Today, let's continue having a heart of gratefulness WITHIN the boundaries He has chosen to set in our lives. Therein lies both protection and blessing.

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