“These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city” (Hebrews 11:13-16 ESV).
For as long as I can remember I have never felt as though I fit in. I didn’t fit in at school. I didn’t fit in on the playground. I didn’t fit in at work. And sometimes I’ve even felt that I didn’t fit in at home.
I’ve never been fast enough, strong enough, handsome enough, confident enough, or smart enough. Understand that this is how I perceived myself, not necessarily how I was perceived by others (although I’m sure that others have perceived me thusly at times!).
As an Army brat, I really never had the opportunity to put down roots. We moved every 1½ to 3 years of my under-aged life. I have no friends with whom I grew up. No place has ever really felt like home. Perhaps this has something to do with my discontent.
But maybe this is an advantage. I can identify with Hebrews 11:13-16. Strangers and exiles, who looked upon the promises of God off in the distance, knowing that they were moving in the right direction, and remaining focused on a heavenly country. Their attention was on God, and not on the terrible things that happened all around them.
We need only turn on the evening news to see that lawlessness has increased and love has decreased (Matthew 24:12).
Regardless of how we have felt, until we came to faith we were of this world. It was more than simply our home, it was a part of our soul, of who we were. But when we came to faith, in witness-protection style our past was erased, and we were given new identities! No longer citizens of earth, we were made citizens of Heaven. Our identification is no longer with the sin nature (or sin nation!), but we are tourists waiting for our flight home.
I certainly don’t mean to imply that life on earth is all bad. There is truth, happiness, joy and beauty. There are others who are on the same journey as we are. And occasionally we have the opportunity to invite others to join us, showing them that our genuine pleasure and joy should come from God in Christ, who has “prepared for [us] a city.”
I used to wish that I could just fit in, but that is no longer my prayer. I now long for the day when I pass over the Jordan into the bountiful land that God has promised to give me.
**If you wish to know more about this journey, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be more than happy to help you along.
Blessings on your day!