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Staying Within the Lines

The Watered Soul: Staying Within the Lines

Jan 31, 2011

Staying Within the Lines

I must admit it’s been quite some time since I have been a part of a formal school setting and grade schooleraser line is even farther away. But I do recall how lining up and staying in the line was an important part of that world. You lined up to go the restroom, cafeteria, library, or any other destination. And for a girl whose last name is at the back of the alphabet chain, I often found myself near the caboose of such lines. Then there was those coloring pages that we were expected to stay within the lines.

Lines, lines, lines, and more lines. Lines create order. Lines create expectation. If I know my place in line relative to others, I can estimate when my turn is next. But what happens when someone breaks line? For most people, unless they are feeling extra nice that day, to be cut in front of is not a welcomed occurrence.

The account of Israel’s blessing of Ephraim and Manasseh found in Genesis 48 reminds me of how God often breaks our preconceived lines. According to their tradition, the oldest son was in line for the blessing. Joseph being the good little father that he was even attempted to help set things up so the blessing would come to the one at the head of the line.

13 Then Joseph took the two boys, Ephraim with his right hand setting him to Israel's left, and Manasseh with his left hand setting him to Israel's right, and stood them before him. 14 But Israel crossed his arms and put his right hand on the head of Ephraim who was the younger and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, the firstborn. 17 When Joseph saw that his father had placed his right hand on Ephraim's head, he thought he had made a mistake, so he took hold of his father's hand to move it from Ephraim's head to Manasseh's, 18 saying, "That's the wrong head, Father; the other one is the firstborn; place your right hand on his head." 19 But his father wouldn't do it. He said, "I know, my son; but I know what I'm doing. He also will develop into a people, and he also will be great. But his younger brother will be even greater and his descendants will enrich nations." Genesis 48:13-14, 17-19

However, Israel did a switcheroo. He skipped over the firstborn. Leading Joseph to assume he had made a mistake. I can’t tell you how may times I wrongly believed that God some how made a mistake. Didn’t he know I was next? And, there has even been those times, when he picked me but according to the natural order of things it was not yet my time. I’m so glad that God does not have to stay within the lines of our human thinking or our man-made traditions.



At January 31, 2011 at 9:13 AM , Blogger BLUEBUTTERFLY said...

Amen! Amen! His ways are not our ways, His thinking not our thinking, and He is not limited by us. Thank you, Lord.

At January 31, 2011 at 9:56 AM , Blogger a sojourner said...

Hi Wanda:)

like this post. you set me to thinking/looking at this in terms of the law versus grace. the law set lines for us too. i love His unfathomable grace that doesn't have a set line.

At January 31, 2011 at 10:28 AM , Blogger Joanne Sher said...

Needed this reminder. His ways are not mine.

At January 31, 2011 at 11:39 AM , Blogger Kim-Stuff could always be worse said...

Yes we do want to stay in line but Thankfully God know better!

At February 1, 2011 at 7:42 AM , Blogger Ella said...

I like this post, when the lines are blurred, it reminds me to expect a different outcome or don't expect anything at all. Well Done~

At February 1, 2011 at 9:03 AM , Anonymous Angel @ Finding The Inspiring said...

Great post Wanda! I love the analogies you give to help remind us that God is sovreign "does not have to stay within the lines of our human thinking or our man-made traditions."

And thanks for stopping by my place too. :)

At February 1, 2011 at 3:06 PM , Blogger Lisa said...

Ain't that the truth!

We limit God with our preconceived ideas about "how" He should do things.

Have a great week, Sister!

At February 1, 2011 at 3:40 PM , Blogger Sharon Kirby said...

Yes, indeed! I love that God can color "outside the lines" but He still makes a masterpiece EVERY time!

He works in His perfect timing...


At February 1, 2011 at 4:57 PM , Blogger lioneagle said...

Hi Wanda -

I love how you worked this. It gave me heart flutters.

Thank you for this treat, Wanda.

At February 1, 2011 at 5:40 PM , Blogger Arlee Bird said...

As humans we must maintain a sense of order in order to avoid conflict and chaos, but on the larger scale God's in charge and He can certainly do what He wants. After all God knows best.

Tossing It Out and the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2011

At February 1, 2011 at 8:56 PM , Blogger jackie said...

So true... God knows what's best for us and He is absolutely in control of everything!

Thanks Wanda ☺

Another inspiring thoughts and truth!


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