The Joy of Belonging

There is no greater joy than to know that we belong. We look for it our whole life. We hope that someone will want us. We hope for a place to land.  

I spent my young life desperately wanting family, but family failed me. I then turned to friends, only to be disillusioned, experiencing one loss after another. And lastly, I turned to the Lord, who had been waiting there all the time. 

To belong to Someone who tells you, “Lo, I am with you always and I will never leave you or forsake you is very comforting. To know He’s not going anywhere is the best news for those of us who desperately need that assurance. 

I have many favorite stories in the Bible, but this speaks to a deep place in my heart. It’s the story found in 2 Sam.4. It’s about a little 5-year-old boy named Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan. David’s closest friend. It was the day both Saul and Jonathan died. I want to segue a moment. 5 years old…I have heard that what happens to us at 5 and at 12 can have an impact on our lives, on our development. I’m not a professional counselor, but I thought that’s interesting.  

Well, that day, this little boy, Mephibosheth was being carried by his nurse, and in her haste, she dropped him…and he was crippled in both feet. Long story short. King David seeks him out…he wants him! Not only does he want him, but he also invites him to his table…to reside all the days of his life. Now that is the joy of belonging!  

For those of us who know what it’s like to be dropped and have felt crippled, and then to be wanted and belong is life-changing.    

Years back I had a call from a childhood friend. He sounded so urgent. “Can you get to Stanford; my sister is dying, and I don’t think my flight will make it in time. She needs to know Jesus”. Picking up a friend, we headed straight for the hospital. Praying as we went. This was not just my friend’s sister; this was someone I had spent time with. Trying to belong and destroying myself in the process. And so was she. The difference was I had found the Lord, and she had not. On our way, the Lord began to download a plan. He let me know, time was short and that I was not to spend a moment trying to connect with her and our past. It was time for her to connect to Him…He wanted her.  Walking in the room, I didn’t even recognize her. She looked so old and beat up. She had been dropped way too many times and had been crippled. But thankfully she was able to respond. In fact, it was the last thing she did. For us to know the table has been set, even in the presence of our enemies can bring us great security. To know our name card is holding our seat is a profound thought. That we’re wanted and belong no matter how old, how beat up and crippled we’ve been. We are His. That we can boldly say, “I’m my beloved’s and He is Mine” is all we really need.         

This week, watching the Olympics, I’ve found myself drawn to the story of Simone Biles. The most gifted gymnast in history. It wasn’t her success that caught my eye. It was when the stress of high performance robbed her of the joy of performing. When she vaulted and lost her way in the air, and then couldn’t stick her landing. It was when she said, “I can’t do this”. And then to watch her team rally. To watch on national T.V, the way they were able to wrap around her. Letting her know she still belonged. That night she found out her value was so much more than her giftings. What a great picture of what God does with us. When we fall short, He’s right there wrapping around us, letting us know, that no matter what comes our way “we belong to Him.”   


Pastor Dori 

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