Growing up as an only child, I often felt like I was on the outside looking in. The dynamics between siblings and members of larger families intrigued me. I longed for the relationships I saw within families and groups that I wasn’t a part of. It was as if I watched through a chain-linked fence. I could see the activity, the camaraderie, the close-knit ties, but was excluded. No one invited me in. I didn’t belong.
Belonging is a fundamental human need described as the feeling of security and support where there is a sense of acceptance, inclusion, and identity. It’s the need to be valued, wanted. When we are not, or perceive we are not, we tend to believe Satan’s lies that we are worthless and undesirable – leading to a downward spiral causing us to seek even more fervently to be accepted. We grasp to find it in another human being, another group of friends, another job, another …
But humans are flawed. We are often more concerned about our own inclusion and security than that of others. We too, exclude.
God is not flawed. He longs to be with us, always. He knows us fully and accepts us where we are, just as we are. He treats us as He sees us, “… you are precious and honored in my sight” (Isaiah 43:4a). We are wanted, valued, loved by Him. He proved it by dying for us.
Instead of waiting for us to shake the chained-link fence to be let in, the Creator of the universe takes the initiative and pursue us! He knocks on our door and asks us to invite Him into our homes, hearts and lives. When we do, His Spirit comes to live in us - permanently. We are never again an outsider. And Our Father includes us in a family so large we will need eternity to meet all our relations!
Whether our feelings as an outsider stem from being an only child, being overlooked at work or being rejected by another, God is aware of our desire for acceptance. He understands our need for security. He knows our longing to belong. He built us that way, and He built us to find them fully satisfied in our relationship with Him.
He created us to belong to Him.
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine.” (Isaiah 43:1b)
-Kathi Fritz (a member of COBI)