The letters lay in box—the folds showing evidence of students who had never written letters by hand.
The day was typical. During my planning period, I walked to the teacher workroom to check my mailbox. Ruffled-looking sheets of paper lay in my cubby. I removed them and saw my name hand-scribbled on them. I quickly fumbled through them and noted they came from students I taught. Not having time to read them, I refolded them and hurried back to my room.
Later in the day, I reopened the letters of appreciation. Some students expressed surprise that I had put up with them for three years, but they treasured it. One student remarked how awestruck she was that I had taught three generations of her siblings. She showed her appreciation by taking a red pen and marking out a noticeable mistake. Another said he looked forward to my class every day. Still another thanked me for not giving him lunch detention every time he deserved it. One commented on how much she had learned and grown in my class.
What I hated in school and at home—boundaries—these students respected. I’m sure they valued the boundaries their parents place on them as well—although they would never tell them. On most days, I think students hate me for being so hard and for pushing them to the limits, but they know I do so for their good.
Paul talked about the law of the boundaries with an example from agriculture. Whatever a farmer sows, he will harvest. A farmer doesn’t plant corn and harvest soybeans.
I didn’t always appreciate the boundaries my parents erected—most of which mirrored God’s boundaries. But like my students, I knew they were beneficial. Because of my sinful nature, I would have run wild had boundaries been absent.
Just as I give much grace to my students when they cross the boundaries, so God does with us. He’s not sitting in heaven waiting for us to mess up so He can crush us. He establishes the boundaries to keep us on paths that are for our good. When we cross them, He gently guides us back inside the lines.
Boundaries teach us to trust God, determine right from wrong, grow as an individual, establish our identity, show love, and prepare for the future.
How can you learn to love God’s boundaries?
(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)
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