It stopped me in my tracks the first time I read it. My circumstances were not particularly pleasant at that moment in time and I felt like my life was anything but good but I flipped open my bible anyway. I felt passed over, ignored, left out by God and completely alone until I read these precious words King David wrote centuries ago:
O Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
You maintain my lot.
The boundary lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Yes, I have a good inheritance. Psalm 16:5-8
As I thought about what God was saying here it grasped ahold of my heart and in all these years it’s never let go. For me, this is one of my top ‘life scriptures’ and I pray it regularly because I know it’s the absolute, take-it-to-the-bank truth.
Now, I’m not proud of a lot in my past but you know what? My past is what makes me who I am because it defines the boundaries of my life. And even though I’m not proud of everything I’ve ever done, I’m incredibly grateful for my life and my inheritance. As the years go by, God is teaching me exactly what my ‘lot’ is and what ‘inheritance’ and those ‘boundary lines’ include.
The enemy will try to use my past to derail my future because he’s absolutely terrified I’ll be unstoppable if I get this right.
He’ll use yours against you too because the devil wants to derail your future. He wants you so focused on YOU and YOUR PAIN you can’t begin to be there for someone else.
Let me share the truths I’ve learned with you.
Truth #1: I’m filthy rich and you are too. I’m wealthy beyond belief because I’m an heiress. Jesus and me, we share an inheritance and if you believe in Christ as your savior then you share it too. You might believe you’re poor or ungifted or forgotten but that’s a big, fat lie. Maybe you’ve had terrible experiences, tragedy and loss, but you too have a good inheritance. How do I know? Because if you have Him you have everything you could ever need. It may be hard to see right now but it’s true.
“But you don’t know what I’ve done!”
“You don’t know what happened to me!”
“You don’t know about my past!”
“I never had a chance!”
You’re not disqualified my friend. You’re forgiven.
You know what? God knows. You know what else?
Truth #2: Not a single element of your life has been left to fate or luck or chance. Every detail is known by, allowed by or planned by a holy God. Every experience, good or bad, is known by Him and has become part of your ‘portion’ with a purpose bigger than your pain.
So what exactly are ‘boundary lines’? I believe they’re everything we’ve ever gone through, dealt with or suffered. They might include our life experiences, our family history, where we’ve lived, our hardships, abuses, rejections, addictions, talents, abilities, economic status, jobs–all these define our boundary lines. It’s our territory, our land, given to us by a wise, compassionate, all-knowing God.
Truth #3: Your one job is to possess your land, to own your inheritance, to accept it.
Every single messy inch of it.
Because here’s the thing,
Truth #4: It’s yours but it’s not just for you!. God is other-centered. He wants us to use everything, every hurt, every heartache, every challenge and success for someone else’s good, not always just for our own. Sweet friend, it’s time to see your life and your past from God’s perspective.
Truth #5: Nothing about your life is random. You’re not a victim. Everything you have and every pain you’ve experienced has purpose and can change the world. But you’ll have to stop hiding from it and throw your arms around it and embrace it. You’ll have to possess your land, every single messy inch of it.
It’s hard to face the past. We all have things we desperately wish weren’t there. I cringe when I recall the life I lived in the decades before I accepted Jesus as my savior. But I know those days helped shape me into the woman I am today. I can easily connect with a woman dealing with infertility because I dealt with it and all the heartache and mess that goes with it. It was a hard, hard season in my life but God got me through and if I can help even one other woman get through it, then the pain and the heartache, the tears and the suffering were totally worth it!
What about you? Does your past haunt you or strengthen you? Are you holding God at arms length because your lot didn’t fall where you’d hoped or where your neighbor’s did? Do you feel like you’ve gotten the short end of the stick? Oh I lived there for many years, wallowing in self pity–my favorite bad feeling–the feeling that still tries to tell me I’ve been passed over, ignored, missed. But it’s caused me to see the next truth very clearly.
Truth #6: everything you’ve ever gone through has divine purpose and it isn’t to kill you but to make you strong for someone else.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Isn’t that an amazing scripture? We suffer, yes, but we are abundantly comforted right in the midst of it. It’s all right there, the exact reason why you went through what you did. Honestly it took me awhile to get to the place where I could accept this. I’m embarrassed to say I was mad at God. In fact, as strange as it sounds, I needed to ‘forgive’ God for not giving me what I thought was a good thing: more children.
Truth #7: God doesn’t do anything randomly and you are not forgotten!! He knows your pain, deeply. There is nothing on earth you’ve gone through He doesn’t understand. He knows all about your past and He knows about your future too.
Be strong friend. Accept your boundary lines. Possess your inheritance! The good, the bad, the ugly. The tears, the pain, the abuse, the rejection, the handicap. Every single bit of your land and life has a purpose.