Recall this moment from elementary school. You are standing beside other kids and there’s a captain. Pick your sport … kickball, basketball, football, or dodge ball in gym class. Someone is going to get picked last.
It’s been this way ever since I can remember.
You’re the kid who got picked last. The friend who was forgotten and not invited to the party. The daughter or son who was always told to be quiet, sit down and shut up.
Painful, right? Do you feel it?
Overlooked. Unwanted. Overwhelmed. And as if that’s not enough as a kid (or an adult), the busyness of life robs you of the ability to connect. You hear “work harder and maybe you will win their admiration and acceptance.”
Alone and cut off from everybody else. Isolated.
Sometimes the feeling punches you in the gut and leaves. Other times it lingers for months on end. Many times it takes root as a wound, and vows and agreements take over. For some of us, it happened when you were a teen and now it has been 40 years.
A voice, somewhere inside you, “You are alone – no one cares!”
That’s not true however, although it can feel true. You are loved and wanted!
Where You Belong
The Holy Trinity cares deeply about you! The Bible tells us that God—the Creator of the universe—wants to be in your presence and hear your sorrows (Psalm 56:8).
Jesus felt unwanted and rejected just like you. Isaiah 53:3 says, “We despised him and rejected him; he endured suffering and pain. No one would even look at him—we ignored him as if he were nothing.” Jesus understands your suffering, and he wants to hear about your pain (Psalm 55:22).
God wants to be in your presence—he delights in you (Zephaniah 3:17).
You Are So Loved, Your Are His Child
See how much the Father has loved us! His love is so great that we are called God's children—and so, in fact, we are. This is why the world does not know us: it has not known God. — 1 John 3:1
“The hardest, gladdest thing in the world is to cry Father! from a full heart . . . the refusal to look up to God as our father is the one central wrong in the whole human affair; the inability, the one central misery.”
— George Macdonald
God Won’t Remove His Love
For I am certain that nothing can separate us from his love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future, neither the world above nor the world below—there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God, which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord. — Romans 8:37-39
God Finds You Pleasurable
But he takes pleasure in those who honor him, in those who trust in his constant love. — Psalm 147:11
Grace and Mercy is Given Generously
Our High Priest is not one who cannot feel sympathy for our weaknesses. On the contrary, we have a High Priest who was tempted in every way that we are, but did not sin. Let us have confidence, then, and approach God's throne, where there is grace. There we will receive mercy and find grace to help us just when we need it. — Hebrews 4:15-16
So what does it mean to belong? Many men have lost, or never even had, a true sense of belonging. Of friendship and acceptance. How do we truly “love men back to life?” For that and more and some great stories, join me, Jim Chenet, and the founder of The New Frontier Chris Hartenstein as they discuss Isolation and Belonging on the latest Recalibrate.
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