The harsh experiences of life have been my best teacher. Not my favorite mind you but the best. Its the way of great teachers isn’t it? They expertly lead us to the hard. Through skillful cunning they lead us to the challenges we’ve deemed insurmountable.
Its how I know the teacher is Him. Only His wisdom could present a gift so full of glory. Only His wisdom could convince me to hope for it.
Much of my life has been spent from the outside looking in. Much of my time spent pining for a welcome, ultimately a place to belong.
Welcoming and belonging touch a tender place on the inside of each of us simultaneously naming us, trimming our hearts in sashes not unlike those of a beauty queen. Upon them our mind’s eye sees words like Approved, Worthy, and Enough. Words large enough for our souls to read and our minds to believe.
Without question, the welcome is absolutely our greatest need. It is precisely why we have already obtained it.
At Creation, human life was given everything needful for survival, Plants sprang up before the first breath was taken. Water and Oxygen came before plants, and light before all of it.
But when the time came to place the crowning jewel on creation, the Father along with His Son, and the Holy Spirit planned for all human life to be formed in their holy, triune image.
Before our hearts thrummed one full beat, before our ears tingled with the sweet warbles of our mother’s voice, before our eyes were able to perceive the difference between light and darkness, and before we burst onto the visible scene of our lives in loud screaming exhales, the essence of our souls were endowed with the nature of God Himself.
We have uniquely received a portion of Him to display. He approved of each one of us, declared each one of us worthy, determined each one of us to be enough to represent His Goodness, His Benevolence, His Joy, His Justice, His Honesty, His Humor, His Tenderness, His Loveliness, His Orderliness, His Help, His Loyalty, ultimately His Heart and His Glory.
Each and everything good about us is an expression of Him. Each of us has been acknowledged, known, accepted, celebrated, and yes even welcomed.
Our welcome is one of Holy proportions. Before any earthly welcome or invitation we have already been chosen by God alone.
So, why haven’t connections here on earth come easily?
Perhaps its all part of the purpose He is weaving. Perhaps it is even the sound of His wooing me to what my heart desperately needs. Him and all He is becomes mine simply for the surrender. All of who He is becomes all of who I am simply for my yes regardless of how broken or lonely or weak it may sound.
In Him, there is invitation not simply penned in earthly jots and line, but sung in the most powerful of melodies, written distinctly for me, tuned perfectly to the anguish of my heart. His delight-filled songs turn to shouts of freedom as my deliverance is discovered in His Presence. (Psalm 32:7)
He is the reward of the outsider. In His Presence, all of us find our place.
He has a place designed just for me. He has a place designed just for you. Upon us is fastened a mantle of service to others forged in the fire of suffering, rendered glorious in its using, and eternally illuminating in its passing.
Every rejection, every harsh word spoken, yes even every mistake, every bit of hurt I have caused has been the ground from which my purpose can spring abundantly alive in Him.
His Welcome invites you in far beyond what any eye has seen, what any ear has heard, or what any mind has conceived. Such are the promises for those who love Him. (I Corinthians 2:9) He has a place prepared just for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and welcome you into My presence, so that you also may be where I am. ~ John 14:3 (Berean Study Bible)