To belong to God means I am no longer defined by what I do, no longer defined by my performance. I am defined by his love for me. Whatever anyone else says about me doesn’t really mean jack squat. It is only God that matters.
To belong to God means I am free to approach God with the simplicity of a child. I can share my heart with him the same way I would to my wife or best friend. No prayer is insignificant.
To belong to God means I am no longer ashamed. God heals the shame of my fatherlessness through the dignity of adoption.
At the age of twelve, Jesus, already a great provocateur, disappeared into his father’s house. After a four day journey from the holy city, Mary and Joseph discovered the messianic game of hide-and-seek. Panicked, the couple horse-whipped their donkey in hard-driven hope. Oh the embarrassment of losing the savior of the world! In today’s society, Mary and Joseph would have been arrested.
“You left God where?” The police were sure to ask.
When Mary found her promised redemption, she anxiously ranted (like only a Jewish or Baptist mother could)—“where have you been? I’ve been worried sick!” Jesus could have shirked in shame. He could have wallowed in self-pity, found his identity in being the unwanted bastard son of Nazareth. But instead, he spoke unrestrained freedom.
“Why were you looking for me, didn’t you realize I had to be in my Father’s house? “
Jesus found his sense of belonging within his primary relationship. His esteem was found centered in the directives of God.
Chapter Eight of Fatherless Generation reminded me of this all-too-familiar gospel story. In this chapter, makes it clear that the hope of the fatherless generation is found singularly and primarily in one relationship. He examines the unconditional love and acceptance found in communion with God. Sowers is living proof, gospel proof, that our ultimate Father brings freedom from “our bitterness, our resentment, and our drive to perform.” (p. 84). When God enters our lives our limitations dissipate and fullness of life is found.
In this chapter, Sowers reminded me that my worth is derived from a singular, holy source. He reminded me that I am more than the sum of my performances, accomplishments, hurts, or shames. He reminded me that I can breathe easy because I belong to the house of God.
And for that, I extend many thanks.