Hebrews 11:13-16, Genesis 23:4
I think I can safely say that each one of us has been somewhere at sometime in our lives where we just didn’t feel like we belonged or fit in. Whether it was reality or just a perception, there have been times when I felt like I didn’t belong. It is a very uncomfortable feeling and one that makes me want to leave. I like to think the best of people, and I don’t believe most people want others to feel unwelcomed or left out, but it still happens from time to time. Today, we get to take the idea of not fitting in and apply it spiritually. The reality is we really do not have a permanent home here; we are just waiting to get to our home.
Abraham lived a life here on earth that forced him to feel like an alien or foreigner wherever he went. He was not living in his homeland, he was living in the Promised Land; however, he knew it still was not his. Abraham sums up his feelings in Genesis 23:4 after Sarah died. He needed to have a place to bury her, so he turned to the Hittites nearby and said, “I am an alien and a stranger among you.” He had to buy a plot of land and a tomb from the Hittites to bury Sarah. He lived his entire life moving and never really belonging. Hebrews 11:13 – 16 tells us that this went beyond the physical, but to the spiritual. Abraham was waiting for his Heavenly home.
I must say that I share that feeling. I love my family and friends dearly, but I look forward to the day when I get to sit at the feet of my Savior. Peter reminds us that we are no longer part of the world in 1Peter 1:1, “…To God’s elect, strangers in the world…” You see, when God changes our hearts, we no longer are part of the world even though we live in the world. We now belong to the kingdom of God. Don’t you ever feel it when you are watching the news? You know there is so much more to this life than what we see on T.V.
Please don’t think that I am saying that we are to live detached lives here on earth; Abraham was fully involved here on earth. If you read his full story, you will even see that he became involved in pleading for people’s lives and fighting in a battle. He didn’t need to do those things, but he still lived here and cared for others. In fact, I think that when you live life knowing there are better things waiting, it empowers you all the more to do Christ’s work here on earth. He called us to love those around us.
It is a wonderful promise that God has given us! When life seems overwhelming, try to picture the moment in relation to eternity. One of my favorite verses that got me through a very difficult adolescence is 2 Cor. 4:17 – 18, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” I am not trivializing the problems we face here on earth; I clung to these verses when I dealt with sexual abuse and abandonment by my father. I am saying that we have an eternal hope that can change our focus. I also want to add that those verses were written by Paul who experienced many difficult circumstances.
Where is your focus? Are you focusing on the eternal hope God has given you?