Friends, there is a universal question that we all ask deep within our soul: “Where do I belong?” There is a longing in each of us to belong. Perhaps you have never thought about it, but lingering behind every desire, every hope, and every wish for happiness, lies a need to belong.
Recently I spoke to an elderly woman who told me that all of her life she has never felt that she belonged anywhere. Even when she is in a group surrounded with people who love her, she feels alone and isolated. She said that her family even bought her a phone from somewhere like FanmiSenior to make sure they could talk to her more regularly. Although this helps her, she said she still feels a source of pain as she searches to find her self-worth and sense of belonging.
In the book Renovation of the Heart, author Dallas Willard explains that when all of the essential parts of human self are effectively organized around God, we can fully experience a sense of belonging; a sense of knowing that we are His and that every longing that we have is fulfilled in Him. Think about this with me for a moment.
- The young girl who did not know the love of her Dad seeks love in all the wrong places
- An executive who works his or her way to the top of the company only to find that the top of the ladder is empty
- A couple who thought that their wedding day was the beginning of their longings totally fulfilled ends in divorce
- A teenager who numbs their emptiness with drugs
- And an elderly woman who tells me that her whole life she has been empty inside, feeling like she never belonged anywhere
There is a song sung by the Beatles titled Elenor Rigby that sums it up…
Ah look at all the lonely people
Eleanor Rigby picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been
Lives in a dream, waits at the window wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door
All the lonely people, where do they all come from? Where do they all belong?
Friends, the hard facts are that we live in a world filled with emptiness that only Christ can fill. The hope that we have in Christ springs up within us an eternal wellspring of joy, peace, and love. He is not simply one hope among others. He is our only real hope in a confusing and often frightening world.
How can we help Eleanor Rigby take off her mask that she leaves by her door? Perhaps Eleanor is you.
In order to establish a sense of belonging, we have to look beyond people or circumstances. Belonging is not so much about a relationship with something but a relationship with Someone— Jesus Christ. With Jesus we do not have to be in the “in crowd” or wear a mask to disguise our real self. He welcomes us just as we are and no matter what we have done.
The Father loved us so much He sent His very best – Jesus – to bring us into His family. He wanted us to belong to Him enjoying who we were created to be.
If you are struggling with feeling alone and lacking a sense of belonging, here are some practical things you can do.
- Talk to God about your loneliness. Ask Him to get to the root of why you are troubled by always feeling alone or empty inside
- Seek counsel from wise Christian friends who will help you in the journey of heart renovation
- Pray with those who will help you remove the mask and get to the core issue
- Meditate on Scriptures that reveal that you belong to God
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God. And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (I John 3:1)
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