The Lines Are Fallen Unto Me
“The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.” Psalm 16:6
During Bible times, line was the word used by the people when referencing the measurement and division of land. We see this word in another passage of the Bible in which the Lord, through His prophet Amos, warned the people that He would judge them for their continual sins and contrary ways of living. Israel would be appropriated by foreigners and then “divided by line,” that is, measured and then divided among the enemy. (Amos 7:17) The word came to mean not only the measurement of land but also a measured out inheritance, something that is inherited from the past. (Psalm 78:55)
Like the psalmist David, I may also say that the lines have fallen unto me in pleasant places and that I have a goodly heritage. The “measured out inheritance” I have received through God’s hand of blessing continues to enrich my life as well as the lives of my sisters each day. What a privilege and untold blessing it was for us to be raised in a preacher’s home. When I look back at my childhood, scores upon scores of memories flood my mind of what truly made our house a home. My parents worked to instill in my sisters and me what was most important in life, and I would like to share with you some of what they taught us.
A LOVE FOR GOD
In our home, God was paramount. The emphasis was never on academics, sports, or work. The emphasis was always on our Lord. My sisters and I learned about Him during family devotions and how to pray to Him during family prayer time. I must admit that, like any other young boy, I felt bored at times; but later, as I grew older, I began to realize the importance and necessity of those evenings with my family.
A LOVE FOR PEOPLE
My parents amazed me with their obvious love for people. My sisters and I never heard them say an ill word about any member of our church, any other church, or any preacher—nobody! I remember there were times when the ministry of North Valley and my dad would be criticized, but he never retaliated or felt the need to vindicate himself or this ministry. He always stayed “on the winning side” and would speak only positively during those times. I have seen and still see my parents weep with those who weep and laugh with those who laugh. They truly love people. In our home, my parents taught us children that we must love people.
A LOVE FOR FAMILY
The work of the ministry was never above time with the family. Every year—whether we had money for it or not—our parents planned a family vacation. They also attended every one of my ball games. My dad would cancel preaching meetings so that he could watch me play. The game could be down the block or hours away—it didn’t matter. My parents were always in the stands. Many times in my childhood, we would go on family rides and outings. We would go to the park together and also play ball together. Family always came before work.
My sisters and I had the privilege of growing up in a preacher’s home; but that, as you know, does not guarantee anyone a happy childhood or family. A person does not need to be a preacher or full-time Christian worker to have a happy home, but the people that make up that family should know that a love for God, a love for people, and a love for each other are three of the necessary ingredients. I thank and praise my Lord each day for the lines that fell unto me and the wonderful blessings that resulted.