I went camping this weekend with several co-ops from my work. Had a great time, got to meet a lot of people, go hiking, and ziplining, which makes for a great thrill ride. But I came back home realizing that for me it's not just a time to have fun, but for God to speak to me more about who I am, what I live for.
Because although I had a good time and the people were great, I never felt like I was one of the group. And if I'm really honest with myself, I have never truly felt like I belong anywhere, except with my family. I think if I wait long enough in any situation, then I convince myself that I do belong to this or that group. But the truth is that this feeling of always being a little on the outside is a sign that my real home is elsewhere. I need to embrace that truth so I am living for eternity and not for this lifetime. It's not easy, and my deepest desire is always to belong, to be part of the inner circle, to be wanted, to be loved. And so my natural inclination is to try harder to fit in wherever I am.
But I do know that whenever I strive to belong in this world, I come home never feeling fully satisfied. On the other hand, when I live and give my all for Christ, as painful as it is sometimes, I finally understand a bit of what Jesus meant when He said, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10)
It's terrifying, some of the things that I see God wants me to do, especially when it calls for a lifestyle that the world doesn't understand, but I need to remember that I already belong. I am His beloved child, and He already loves me more than I could ever imagine to even hope for. And so I don't need to try to be accepted, and I can freely, without fear, follow His calling for me to give to and love others openly. Thank God that He faithfully works in me to be more like Christ; I can't take credit for any good that is in me or any change that happens in me. This song below came on the radio today, and I was so blessed and moved by it. It was an awesome crowning piece to all He was speaking to me about throughout the weekend and during worship service today at Sojourn. The chorus says "Whatever You're doing inside of me, it feels like chaos, but somehow there's peace." Oh so true. Thank You Lord for all that You are, for loving an undeserving sinner like me, and for using me for something heavenly.