Where do you belong? There’s an old story about a preachers’ conference where they got into an argument over free will and predestination. It became so heated that they divided into sides to determine how to counteract the others belief. One group went to one side, and the other group to the other side. All went, except one. He couldn’t decide which group to belong to. Finally he went over to the predestinationists side. When he got there someone asked, “Why are you here?” He replied, “Well, I chose to be over here.” They all shouted angrily, “You belong on the other side!” So he went. When he arrived with the other group someone there asked him, “Why are you here?” And he replied, “Well, because they sent me here.” The leader of the group said, “Get out of here! You can’t be here unless it’s your choice! You belong with that other group!” And he wondered where he did belong!

Longing to belong is one of the basic human needs. And one of the powerful motivators to action in all of us is the longing to belong–somewhere; even anywhere. Like the above mentioned preacher, we long to belong. And often this desire leads us to the wrong places, the wrong people. And to be rejected by a group, well. . .it’s downright painful. You may be thinking about teenagers longing to belong to a certain clique. But it’s not just teenagers–we adults, of all ages, do the same thing–at work, in the community, in politics. To belong means we have to fit in. And many times we just don’t fit in. And they remind us of that. Rejection is a powerful enemy to our heart, mind, and life.

Sometimes we do manage fit in, but we find out it’s not where we belong. We lost something inside us–so we try to find another group. And the cycles of trying fitting in and rejection viciously attacks us and we become washed out, wiped out, and worn out. And sometimes, some people feel like they don’t belong anywhere. It’s a pain that works so deeply within us it makes us feel helpless and unfit. Honestly, do you feel like you belong? Belong anywhere?

What if I told you there is a place you belong? Would you doubt me? Would you wonder how much it would cost your heart and mind to belong there? Would you wonder if you fit-in, I mean, really belong there? The place I’m talking about is for the worn-out, the weary, those carrying what feels like the weight of the world, tired–and who are willing to admit it. And the Group Leader–none other than Jesus, The Christ, The Son Of The Living God, is waiting with open arms to welcome you. Are you thinking, “There’s no way I would fit into religion!”? Well, I’m not talking about religion–it’s about The Relationship Of Belonging. Personally, I hate religion!

Jesus extends the invitation to everyone; everyone fits in because everyone is made in God’s image! That why Jesus said in Matthew chapter 11, verse 28: Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” All we need is to get rid of the junk that is hiding that image. When you don’t fit in, when you think there is no place you belong–Remember that Jesus longs for you to belong with Him!

Love God with all your heart. Love others the way Jesus loves you. And make sure all the glory goes to Him!