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How to find your place

Ever feel like you don’t fit anywhere?

I did a quick reflection with a couple of my kids this week. I asked them how they handle the school lunchroom.

“When you enter the room, do you look for a spot where you will fit in?”

I was surprised and amazed that the confidence my two middle children exhibited. One told me “Mom, I sit down and people come to me.” The other one said “I look for a place to fit if I want to avoid people. Otherwise I sit down and they come to me.”

I’m not sure how these two came out of my body. You see, my entire life, I have looked for a place to fit. I’ve tried to find the missing hole in an organization and fill it, or look for a group of people who won’t reject me to sit with. Until recently, I really haven’t been comfortable in my own skin.

A quick look at scripture gives us an interesting insight into ‘place’. Perhaps you will find yourself in this lineup:

Jacob: “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” (Gen.  28:16) – have you ever felt like you your mistakes have isolated you? You feel alone, and every detail of life seems to be perfectly situated to punish you. Then, as you are waking up on your rock pillow, you realize that God is right there with you. It changes everything. When you discover God in the midst of your pain, you find that He is teaching you new things, preparing you for new challenges, and making every day count.

Moses ran from his place of position and tried to lose himself in the monotony of life. He didn’t feel stuck. He had long forgotten any future and was content to be alone for much of the time (or so I understand the life of a sheep farmer in the desert). Then God showed up: “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground” (Exodus 3:4-6).  God knows where you are, and He has a future for you. When He shows up, it might look like danger on the horizon (like a fire in brush land) – but then you will discover that what looked frightening is really His opportunity, and you will  be refocused and catapulted to your new adventure.

David found that God was the one to bring him to his place. He asked King Saul to assign him a place, he moved from place to  place while in exile, and in 2 Samuel 22:20, he declared: “He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” A place to be and do what God had called him to.

The psalmist tells us that God set the stars in place. Now that we know a bit more about astronomy, it is quite clear that God takes all sorts of objects and gives them a place and function in the universe.

So here is my take away from this week:  God has a place for you. Don’t seek it, seek Him. He will find you and bring you to that place of belonging and purpose. Your giftings might be diverse, but God will make them fit just right with others to build His purposes and mission.

3 Comments

  1. “but to help us have continuity through all parts of it.” Ain’t that the truth! A compartmentalized life is NOT an abundant life. I have always had this sense of being destined for something great – like Oprah great or Joyce Meyers great. And yet, I live my life in a very private way with a lot of solitude and quiet. I have comforted myself with remembering the hero’s of the Bible and how much of their lives was spent in the desert – like Moses. But I think when we live our lives, the whole of our lives, to the glory of God in an integrated way, we all touch a little bit of greatness. More importantly we pass that to our children.

    There is song by Creed called “With Arms Wide Open” which the lead singer wrote for his son. When I was in the Navy I used to run with my MP3 player (pre IPOD days) the music on it was timed to end to be the exact time I needed to pass my twice annual run. This song was the last song. I chose it because of this verse:
    “If I had just one wish
    Only one demand
    I hope he’s not like me
    I hope he understands
    That he can take this life
    And hold it by the hand
    And he can greet the world
    With arms wide open…”

    I have learned that my greatness rests in my boys and that when I teach them to live with arms wide open I tend to do that too. A life of continuity is a life that is wide open and that is where greatness is found.

  2. Kim

    27/04 at

    Thanks Jeanine – I agree. I think what God is doing in the church at large is helping us to have continuity or integrity of life – in other words, not having our life in 2-4 “boats” (work, family, church, social) but to help us have continuity through all parts of it.

  3. Jeanine

    27/04 at

    “God has a place for you. Don’t seek it, seek Him.” – This has been a recurring theme recently. We are so purpose-driven, so goal-oriented that we can feel unfulfilled or unused by God unless we are doing something BIG for Him. What if God just asks you and me to be His friends? Is that enough for us? – Or is that the “Ultimate”?

    We so often yearn to be “used” by God – to “make a difference”- that when we don’t see God using us in a BIG way, we are disappointed, and think something is wrong.

    However, IF the chief purpose of Man is to love God and enjoy Him (to be His friends), then when that happens (in our daily devotions, and daily life) – Is that enough? If we yearn for more, Why? Could it be that’s when it really becomes about “us” – looking good, and important to others? Challenging thoughts to ponder!

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