Where Do I Belong?

I grew up a bit of a mixed-up kid.  I was born in Canada.  My parents were born in Texas.  That made me a “dual citizen.”  I was made fun of in the States for having a “Canadian” accent.  I was made fun of in Canada for having an “American” accent. 

Now, I knew what an “American” accent was.  After all, our family made a trek to Texas every year from wherever we lived.  Most of the kids in the family “picked up” that Southern drawl as soon as we hit the Texas/Oklahoma border!  But, I didn’t really know what a “Canadian” accent sounded like until I was older and could hear it more clearly.

I grew up learning the history of the United States and the history of Canada. 

I knew all 13 provinces and territories and most of the 50 states.  We drove across those states putting together state map puzzles many times.

I grew up learning French.  I also heard and learned words like “y’all” and “tard”- (translation: plural “you” and “very tired”!)  I knew that soda and pop were the same thing.  I knew that many Canadians drank hot tea while Texans drank iced tea.  I knew in which country to buy “Shreddies” and where to buy “Shredded Wheat”.  I knew where to get “Smarties” vs. “M & M’s”!  I knew what sticky muggy heat felt like and I knew what it felt like to get frost bite inside of my lungs!

I was mixed up though because I didn’t know to where I “belonged”.  Was I truly American or was I truly Canadian?  When I went to Canada I said I was Canadian but if I went to the States I said I was American.  Where did I belong?

I felt like an alien or foreigner no matter where I was.

There are several places in the Bible that talk about those of us who are believers being “aliens” or “foreigners” in this world.  The verses are found in Ephesians, Hebrews, and I Peter.  Ephesians discusses the fact that there was this division between the Jews and Gentiles but Christ did away with that and they became part of one family under God.  I like the verse in Hebrews and I Peter as well because they talk about the fact that though we live in this world, it is not our home.  There is another place far better waiting for us.

I don’t have to feel like I don’t belong.  I know I am a child of the King.  I know that I have an eternal home with Him.  I know that He wants me to spend the rest of my life here and in heaven with Him under the promise that I am His and I belong.

“Dear Father, Thank-You that because of Your great love and sacrifice I belong to You now and forever.  I am not out of place.  I do not have to be mixed up. I am Your child.  Thank-You for this priceless treasure.  May I never take it for granted.”  

 

Have you ever felt like you didn’t belong? Where do you find your sense of belonging?

Greatness

GreatnessWe tell our kids, “God has great plans for your life”, “God has something wonderful for you to do”, and that kind of inspirational “thing”.  Then kids grow up wondering where the great thing is.  When are they going to learn what this big, wonderful thing is that God has for them.  Kids can become adults who get discouraged by the fact that they live a “normal”, everyday, average life…because they get so focused on waiting for the greatness.

But, what if the greatness is in how we live our “normal” everyday-ness of life?

God’s word says that there are 2 things that are important: loving HIm with all we are and loving those around us (Matthew 22:37-39, Mark 12:29-31).  His Word says that we are to live lives worthy of bearing His name (Philippians 1:27, Colossians 1:10-12,  II Thessalonians 1:11-12).

Most of us will not be called to the grandiose similar to people like Billy Graham or Charles Spurgeon or Kay Arthur or Beth Moore.  Most of us will be called to live as salt and light in a darkened world.  The people I  know who have had the greatest impact on my life and on the lives of others around them are the people who have walked the walk of faith through a difficult time. The people I’ve seen who are great in their faith (because of God as they would tell you) are those who have continued to walk with God even when they didn’t have the answers, who have continued to apply God’s word to their lives even when the world thought THEIR world was falling apart, who have been steadfast to trust God and live out that trust even when circumstances seemed impossible.  They held on to the One Who made all things possible.  These people are the ones who have walked the regular life in an irregular way-irregular to the world-a life lived for God fully and completely.

I think that’s what true greatness is.  Living daily in the presence of God, believing what He promises, and holding on to the Rock when the storms are raging.  Sure, the world’s idea of greatness is different, but, as a friend reminded me recently, we are not of this world.   We belong to a different Kingdom, our citizenship is not of this earthy, praise God.

“Father, today, let me walk in Your greatness.  Let me shine for You and You alone.  Let me live this simple life as You desired, loving You first and then others.  If there is to be any greatness in me-let it be You.”

 

 

 

photo courtesy of Microsoft Office Online