Belonging–it’s one of the deepest longings of the heart. To have a sense of being wanted. To have a sense of purpose. To really, truly be loved.
One of the subtlest, saddest things here is the lack of belonging. For so many people, life appears to be a round of endless activities utterly devoid of meaning, appreciation or love. A life like that must feel worthless.
Of course, it’s by no means unique to Tchad. In fact, it may be just as common or maybe more common in the US. Maybe it’s being away from friends and family that makes it stand out. Maybe it’s all the suffering I see on a regular basis. Maybe it’s my own struggles. Maybe you struggle with it too.
Maybe you have been rejected in ways that cut you to the core and make you feel unloved and worthless. Maybe you feel unappreciated and unwanted. Maybe you feel like damaged goods–unloveable.
Jesus loves you. He finds you amazing. He cares. He wants you–you specifically. He sees your scars, wounds, inabilities and insecurities and says, “I love you.”
But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
Because you are precious in my eyes,
I give men in return for you,
peoples in exchange for your life.