Clusters of boys and girls hung out in small groups on the asphalt parking lot better known as the playground. Girls giggled and pointed at the boys and the boys tried to look too cool to notice. I was in one of those circles of girls longingly looking over at the boys. The only objective was to belong and have those boys notice us.
Preteen girls and boys are awkward and socially inadequate most of the times. I imagine you remember what it feels like to want to belong as well as the nervous giggles that accompanied your desire.
In my time of digging deeper into Exodus this summer, I found these words deserved a little more attention.
I have become a foreigner in a foreign land. Exodus 2:22 NIV
At this time, Moses was fleeing from Pharaoh, who wanted to kill him. Moses ended up in Midian and says these words as his wife, Zipporah, gave birth to their son.
The Wish to Belong
Think of those times you wished to belong. You might feel like Moses did, “a foreigner in a foreign land” because everyone around you seems to have it all together. You look longingly at the person across the room and secretly desire to have what they have. The longing doesn’t stop there, but the bottom line is that person carries themselves with a confidence that looks good on them.
If you know the story of Moses, you will remember that he led the Israelites for many years, but when it came time to enter the Promised Land, Moses never got the chance to enter. Maybe, you feel that you too are striving to reach that elusive Promised Land in your own life. It looks like everyone else is reaching their goal and crossing over into the goodness. But you feel left behind and believe you missed the invitation to belong to the group that everyone else seems to belong to.
You are not Alone
I feel this way sometimes, but let me remind you, you are not alone. That person across the room feels the same as you. It just so happens they carry themselves in a way that hides the deep longing in their own heart. We are not alone in our desires to belong. Whether we say them out loud or keep them tucked away in our hearts, we all live as foreigners in a foreign land.
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. Phil. 3:20-21 NIV
Here’s the good news:
Our citizenship is in heaven. We belong to God. This gift is our invitation to knowing a God that already claimed our membership.
We await a Savior. Jesus has come and His presence in our lives identifies us as His son or daughter.
God is in control. We can surrender our people–pleasing personalities, desire to fix it, and trying to run interference because God’s already got it taken care of.
We are the lucky ones. Our hearts are intertwined with the heart of Jesus. His love and strength is enough. As a son or daughter of God, we belong and when life is anything but peaceful, God has already figured it out.
Being a foreigner in a foreign land brings us closer to the One who brought us there to begin with. He is never far away and He always calls us as His own.
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