Limitations vs Boundaries


This is an incomplete thought, but it is something that has been stirring in my mind for a few weeks now. I referenced some of the longing felt in different seasons in a blog post a few days ago. In my journey of dreaming with God I have found that longing and frustration are often interwoven. Wanting so badly for something, but hitting barriers in the actualization of those desires.

Disappointment is a heavy weight to carry…and most of us don’t even notice how heavy we have grown. I have had many angry tears shed processing with God about things that I am not able to do or see happen…yet. I say ‘yet’ because God has a plan. As I have been pondering this issue over the past week I came upon a great realization. One that has brought me peace.

Limitations and boundaries are not the same things. Limitations are based on what cannot happen. My lack of capacity, my weaknesses or the natural restrictions I face. Boundaries are based on God’s great strategic plan. They are directional and keep us from wandering around in aimlessly. Limitations are based on deficits. Boundaries are based on love.

Every season of life has boundaries. I can’t do everything all the time. I would burn out and be impactless. God has paced my life so that I can run in such a way as to win the race He has set out for me. (1 Cor. 9:24) Cattle are moved from field to field based on which fields have food, which field has the terrain needed to keep the cattle safe and healthy…thats what God does. My boundary lines right now are to be a support leader at All People’s Church instead of a senior leader. I can write on a blog instead of speaking to large groups, and I have to store up in prayer for big dreams in my heart rather than act out on them.

My natural inclination is to see through the lens of limitation. I can’t be a leader. I must not have been doing a good job at it. Only a handful of people are interested in my life…those few who read my blog. Not large masses. No matter how hard I try, I cannot seem to make some of the big dreams happen…Limitation. Heaviness. Disappointment.

Psalm 16:6 ” The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places…”God knows all the things seen and unseen. He knows what the next field holds for me. The healthiest thing for me is to live inside of the boundaries I am in. I usually don’t know why, but I know Him. He is good and He doesn’t hold back on me. Jesus always gives me the best, not the scraps.

Seeing through limitations is painful because it makes us look at ourselves as the problem. It makes single women ask ‘what is it about me that is so unattractive.’ It causes dreamers to wonder ‘why is my capacity so small’. And it slowly convinces all of us that ‘God isn’t able to meet my needs and satisfy me.’

Our limitations and God’s boundaries are not the same thing. Be at peace knowing that where you are is a pleasant place because the fullness of God is there with you.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Limitations vs Boundaries

  1. Elizabeth love your thought. Yet I also know new season, new boundaries, new limitations can create a sense of "What?" "Why?" and even feeling like our life is smaller. Yet I feel like in those seasons more than any other time He enlarges my life, it's just more in the inner places that aren't as much in the open. Thanks for sharing friend.

  2. Great word, Elizabeth. Very true. We trust God to do the "placing". We remember that God says we are to be happy/satisfied, whether "slave or free". God does the placing…we do the praising…all the while praying through to the fulfillment of the dreams He has put in our hearts.

  3. Hey Liz. I know we haven't talked or seen each other for years, since our days at Baylor, but I found your Blog link on your facebook page. I just wanted to let you know that this post has really blessed me today. I've definitely had the same feelings of limitation and struggling with feeling helpless in areas that I feel strongly about, but can't act out in at this point in my life. Hope you and your family are doing well! ~ Elizabeth

  4. Liz, I look forward to your wise posts and I'm glad I get to be one of your followers. I'm reading a book right now called "Those who trust in the Lord will not be disappointed" and am learning to chose to trust when I feel disappointment creeping in. Transitions is hard, but change are good. Keep up the good job thinking through things with God! Miss you.

  5. Jen

    This is amazing — full of truth and introspection. It definitely provides a whole new perspective that seeks to lift people up, encouraging all of us in our walk. I appreciate you letting us into the vulnerable places so that we may see the good work that He is doing in you. I sincerely hope that you will continue to link up to Soli Deo Gloria. You are a blessing.

  6. "Every season of life has boundaries." That is so very wise. When you couple that with the verse on pleasant places, it's pure grace. I'm tucking that away in my heart!

  7. I am hoping over from Soli Deo Gloria and this is just marvelous. I too, have big dreams, but all in God's time, through His will. I love your distinction between limitations and boundaries. So well put and so true. Thank you for this beautiful piece of inspiration.

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