“Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.” (Rom 4:16)
The first time I read that verse I got excited. I share with my husband all the time different things I’m learning from the Scriptures (and he with me), and when I read this I sent him a message on his phone telling him how amazing it was that I was now in Abraham’s family. It may sound like a strange thing to get excited about, but he was the man who God chose, telling him, “I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted.” (Gen 13:16). Abraham was to become “a great nation.” (Gen 12:2)
And now I was a part of that. Because I made the decision to follow Christ, I finally found a place where I truly belonged.
We spend so much time trying to find a place to belong, people with whom we can “fit in.” Years of grade school wasted to find that “right place.” I personally have gone through friend after friend, after friend as I’ve grown up. I’ve experienced hurt and loss. I’ve tried to “fit in,” but never really accomplished it. And when I got hurt, or when I changed, I moved on. I left the old in search for the new, and went through the same thing over and over again. I have made friends through the years whom I still talk to today, and I’m grateful for their friendship, but it’s still not where I fully belong.
This even happens within our own families at times. We strive to be more like a sibling, or a cousin, and so on. The settings we try to fit into could be good ones, but the problem is we’re not being who we were made to be. God made each one of us different; and each one of us special. He is a God of variety.
Think for a moment about a place you can go where you are loved for just being you; a place where you don’t have to try to be someone you’re not just to be liked. It’s kind of refreshing if you think about it. That is the place we are accepted into when we make that life changing decision. We are loved for who we are. We have rules we need to live by, but those come fairly easy when we make the decision to live for Him, and because we’ve made that choice it’s who we want to be, and not who we think we should be to be accepted.
We no longer need to search for acceptance, for we’ve been accepted by the One who gave us life. I’m not saying to let that be that. We still need to surround ourselves with people who will help us in our faith. We can find it by getting involved in the church we attend, for finding a church to begin with. A church is a group of believers who come together to worship the Lord; the body of Christ. Don’t try to “fit in.” God calls each of His members to play his own part. “Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” (Rom 12:4,5)
No place on this earth is perfect, and no person is perfect. This is why, once we belong to God, we can be comfortable in our own skin. If we belong to Him, then we’ve made the commitment to obey His commands, and that means loving our brothers, being a part of God’s family, a part of the body of Christ, and sharing His word with others. We all belong, and we all have our own part to fulfill until the day of glory comes.
If you have found new life in Him, may you find peace in the knowledge that you have found your place, and may you continue to remember that you have been accepted for who you are, not for who someone else is. And if you have yet to make Him your own, may you come to that same knowledge that your search for acceptance will be over once you choose Him, and that He takes us all as we are. In Christ's name, Amen.