boundaries

You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 16.11 (ESV)

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Five weeks after total knee replacement and my therapist thinks I’m doing great, but it’s hard work, and I sometimes get weary at the thought of starting all over again next month after surgery on the other knee. About the time I gain some independence back, I’ll be dependent on others again, and it bristles against the stubborn “I can do it myself” me.

I’ve been advised to wait six weeks before driving after right knee surgery, but I’m anxious for some of that temporary independence and decide to look for a loophole in the advice. Thanks to Google I find it. “A month after total knee replacement on the right knee, a patient can try driving if they feel confident, they are no longer taking narcotics for pain, and the car has an automatic transmission,” the well-known medical center website tells me. Five weeks is more than a month. I grab my purse, keys, phone and camera, and leap – or limp – out the door rejoicing at my new-found freedom.

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I’m clearly testing the boundaries – boundaries that were given for my good and protection, and for the good and protection of others, as well. As I test my ability to drive down these back country roads, I stop here and there to roll down the window and capture glimpses of our tropical fall blazing yellow behind barb-wire fences, and it occurs to me that the boundaries God places in my life are there for the very same reason – for my good and protection, and for the good and protection of others around me, as well.

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When I left the hospital after surgery, I wasn’t sent home to figure out for myself how to care for the incision, control pain, and learn how to walk with my new knee. The orthopedic surgeon, the hospital staff, and the physical therapists provide all the information I need – even when I don’t know what to ask for. Neither does God make it difficult for me to know the boundaries in my walk with Him. They are written in His Word and on my heart, and like the restrictions placed on my driving, they are boundaries I can choose to honor, ignore, or push through in defiance. I can even look for loopholes, but the joy and pleasure found in His presence comes from choosing to stay with Him on the “path of life” He makes known to me.

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