“This world is not our permanent home.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 8, 2022
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:20
I recently made my weekly trip to the grocery store and had a delightful experience. As I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed a man, small, hunched over, and frail shuffling on the sidewalk across the front of the store. Head down. Grocery bags slung over his back, moving slowly to avoid falling on the ice. Immediately, I felt as if I needed to get to him to talk with him.
I quickly swung into the nearest parking space, jumped out of the car, and thought, “I’ve got to get to that little man.” I wasn’t sure why I wanted to speak with him but felt compelled. I ran, then slowed down when I reached him. I tapped him lightly on the back of his left shoulder. He turned around. “Do you need some help?” I asked. I thought maybe he could use some assistance carrying his groceries. He smiled, then said he was fine and that he was just walking across the street.
“Thank you,” he said, then expressed concern. “You be safe in talking to people.”
“Well, when God prompts you to do something,” I said, “you say, ‘Okay.’” I smiled.
He looked as if life had been hard on him. His smile revealed missing teeth and his eyes looked tired, but I couldn’t help but think, “What a beautiful spirit” while remembering our bodies are only shells, houses for our spirits which will one day return to God (Ecclesiastes 12:7).
My comment about God opened the door and he immediately started talking about his life and the troubles he’d experienced. “You know,” he said, “I’ve had problems with life development.” When I asked what he meant, he said, “With fitting in. Like that tree over there.” He pointed with his right index finger. “That tree just fits. It belongs there. It belongs with the birds and the sky. In life, I’ve felt like I don’t fit.”
That thing rose up in me that always does when I feel called to encourage someone. “You do fit,” I said. “You fit because God made you. You are not an accident. You didn’t ask to come here. God put you here. And because He made you, designed you, and planned you, you fit. Everyone is here on purpose, for a purpose.” He smiled and told me he was a born-again Christian. As I drove away, my spirit was lifted, and my heart happy.
Later, I considered how everyone feels as if they don’t belong or fit in now and then. I am grateful God has given us all work to do (Ephesians 2:10); He has given us all purpose and we are not here by accident (Psalm 139). A few days later while sharing this story with my husband, he reminded me of 1 Peter 2:11 which says we are strangers and aliens in this world. So, while we do fit because God placed us here on this earth, we won’t ever feel like we completely fit because this world is not our forever home. Our real home is in heaven.
What a relief! This means that the uncomfortable “out-of-place” feelings we all experience are a normal part of being earth bound; they are a part of being human. As long as we are here, there will always be longing in our hearts for our true Home (Ecclesiastes 3:11). What a glorious day when we will finally experience the fullness of true belonging.
“For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come” (Hebrews 13:14, NLT).
Lord, thank you that you have given me work to do here. Also thank you that this world is not my home. Help me to remember this whenever I start to feel like I don’t fit in. Amen.
Look up the scriptures in the related readings and record how God is speaking to you through His Word in a journal or notebook.
Chris Tomlin: Home
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