Oh, the love Jesus has for us to willingly and joyfully suffer such a horrible death so we might be saved from eternal damnation! When the temple veil was torn at the moment He died, it meant total access to God our Father—without boundaries. Hallelujah!
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES By Sally Bair
The temperature-controlled conservatory in St. Paul, Minnesota’s, Como Park allows flowers of every kind to grow, summer and winter. When I visited there as a kid, I liked to watch the goldfish that swam in the pond next to the walkway. Unlike the tiny goldfish in my glass bowl at home, the Como Park goldfish grew quite large.
Many species of fish grow as large as their environment provides. If I transferred the goldfish in my little bowl to a larger one, it would grow proportionately larger. Any living thing that is boxed in, so to speak, will live a relatively stunted life.
People also become stunted when boxed in. When children are not allowed to explore on their own—whether physically, mentally, or emotionally—their growth is hindered. Adults closely controlled by others also tend to live a stifled life.
God wants us to be healthy in all areas. When we eat nutritious foods, our bodies grow healthy. When we deal with the stress in our lives, we grow emotionally. When we keep learning new things, we grow intellectually. And when we step out in faith, we grow spiritually.
God gives us definite boundaries in his Word. But sometimes we add our own boundaries, usually from lack of trust. Then our spiritual growth is hindered and we
become ineffective in our Christian lives. For instance, we may feel God nudging us to take a short-term mission trip … visit nursing home residents … invite a neighbor to our Bible study. Do we jump at the chance? Or do we decide we can't afford it, are too young, too old, not qualified, or too scared? Any excuse becomes a boundary—a box—that will prevent God from working through our lives.
All of us should strive to break out of the goldfish bowls we've allowed ourselves to live in, and expand our boundaries to include an ocean. Then we'd have lots of room to grow. Then we'd be free to meet any new challenge. Then we'd grow as spiritually big as God would like.
"And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, 'Oh, that you would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory …'" (1 Chronicles 4:10)
Lord, we often prevent You from doing an important work through us, because we're too scared, too unsure, or too comfortable. Clear our minds and mend our hearts so we will be willing and eager to step out in faith, ready to do Your will. Enlarge our boundaries, our territory, so we can serve You better. In Jesus' name, amen.