Welcome to Making Space Mondays! Every Monday we look at a topic together that positions us for spiritual growth in Christ. This week I want to talk about belonging. We all long to belong. In researching the meaning of belonging, I came across some descriptions:
A sense of fitting in or feeling like you are an important member of a group; rightly placed in a specified position; acceptance.
We all long to belong, but many people feel like an outsider looking into a room filled with people and longing to be on the inside. On the other hand, I have been told by some people that even though they are in a room filled with people, they still feel alone.
Belonging is a God-given need. It is ordained by God so that we find in Him alone the sense of well being and acceptance. Along the way to finding this place in Christ, we often take a side road trying to fill the hole in our hearts, the need within our souls to belong.
Karyn Hall, Ph.D. writes: ” A sense of belonging is a human need, just like the need for food and shelter. Feeling that you belong is most important in seeing value in life and in coping with intensely painful emotions.”
Scripture reveals to us that as believers in Jesus Christ, we are a chosen priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession that proclaim the excellencies of him who called us our of darkness into His marvelous light. A chosen royal priesthood…. a radical concept but a true reality. Jesus came that we might have life abundant in Him. We belong to Him.
Now here is something else to think about. We are insecure when we lack a sense of belonging. We try and fill the void with relationships that can fail us, jobs that help us achieve but still cannot fill the ultimate void, money, possessions… All good things but not able to ultimately give us a total sense of security.
Years ago, while living in a foreign country, I remember folding my children’s clothes and crying. I was lonely and depressed and isolated. I lived in a small farming village and no one spoke English. I remember crying out to God for help. It felt as though God has abandoned me. And then I heard the still small voice of My Shepherd calling me to Himself. It was such a quiet voice that at first, I disregarded it. Then I heard it again. “Joanne, you are not alone. I am with you.”
Few words, big impact. From that time on, I searched the Scripture for comfort and Truth. I sought His help in making new friends and attempting to learn German. The Lord led me to move to another village with people who not only knew English but loved my children. I came to love them so very much that when it was time to move back to the states, my heart broke. Why? Because I had found a sense of belonging in Christ and He had helped me find a sense of belonging in a small town with special people, who to this day I love dearly.
We have just celebrated Thanksgiving. Some people (like myself) had a house full of people with which to celebrate. But others were lonely. We are now entering into the holy season of Advent– the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. His parents were alone. He was born in a humble stable. His life’s work was lonely. In the end, even his friends deserted him. But His life, death, and resurrection opened a door to true life; life in Him. He came offering us new life and a sense of belonging to Him and to the family of God.
As we enter the Advent season, let us together, in the community of God, let us help those who don’t know Christ find a way to Him. You may be the only door to bring them in.
…and lo I am with you even unto the end of the world. (Matthew 28:20)