To belong. A quest that all of us humans pursue throughout our lives. Since bringing Carl into our home about 18 months ago, he has wanted to know that this is where he belongs. Our little French Bull dog has tried so hard to fit in but even after so long, I still don’t think he realizes that we love him and that this is home.
Who are the ones that struggle the most with this potent insecurity? I know I did. When I was a little girl, I never felt the unconditional love from my father. No matter how hard I tried, his attention went to his passions; my brothers, his golf game, and the love for political power. So, I did what others do when they don’t feel like they belong. I sought it in the guys that I dated or the friends that I hung out with. Bad decisions were made and regrets that will linger for the rest of my life.
So many of us go through life joining this group or pursuing others just to feel like we belong. Some play sports, others band with gangs, and many join churches where they hope that they will find a place to be a part of. In all of these cases, the deep seeded desire to just feel valued is so powerful that one can walk away devastated when they are rejected.
I have come to the conclusion that to belong is a gift. No one deserves it and many will never find it even when they have sought it all their lives. Psalm 68:6 states, “God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing.” In Samuel 2:9, the Bible provides an inspiring story about how King David sought out his friend, Jonathan’s surviving son and gave him a place at his table.
Mephibosheth was crippled from the age of five and had to rely on the goodness of others for his welfare. He had nothing to offer anyone. His father was dead and his grandfather, King Saul had tried to kill David for years before his death. Then why did King David have mercy on this man? Could God have put it on David’s heart to seek out Mephibosheth and not only take care of his needs from afar but to provide a place to come and eat with the king whenever he desired?
For the first time in this man’s life, he belonged. Not because he deserved it or earned it but because he was given this gift of grace from our heavenly father. So whenever we find ourselves surrounded by people we love, be sure to thank our gracious father for extending the gift of belonging.
As for Carl, he continues to make sure that he has the best spot to sit which is usually in my husband’s lap. If this isn’t belonging, I don’t know what is.