It’s day 10 of #samjyogaadvent and the theme is a tough one for me: BELONG.
It’s hard for me in this season because I don’t feel like I really “belong” anywhere but home. Which is fine in that I love being home and serving my family, but it’s difficult because for 5 consecutive years, I was involved and in service at church as well. And currently, I’m lucky to even make it to the large church in the next town over that has a noon service. Not belonging to a church community does hurt my heart, and it’s something I long for and know it’s up to me to get myself there and get plugged in. In time.
For now though, when these outcast kind of feelings sweep over me, when I get down and out about the communities I’ve lost before, I’m reminded that even if I belonged to no one else, I belong to God, my creator, and that’s enough.
But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth— everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.’ (Isaiah 43:1-7 NIV)
Over and over in this passage, God takes ownership of his people, not only as a father, but as a protector who does everything He can for us, even at great cost.
And He reminds us that He loves us – let me pause for a minute there – He says He does all this because He. Loves. Us. If you hear nothing else today, please hear this: YOU BELONG HERE. AND YOU ARE LOVED HERE.