13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own.
I’ve always been a misfit. Never really felt like I belonged anywhere, except at home with my family. As a child, I was overweight. In my teen years, acne was an added concern. Life at home wasn’t any better. My father died when I was eleven, and my mother suffered a debilitating stroke a year later. That’s when I was taken in by my grandparents.
People are often surprised when I confess my loner spirit. I am by nature shy and prefer to keep to myself. It’s not that I’m a snob, although it has been construed as such. I’m socially inept, more comfortable tucked away quietly in a corner than mixing with the crowd. For me, social interaction is more like playacting.
It is by the grace of God that I’ve accomplished anything in life. He has helped me beyond measure to cope with my battles with a negative self-image.
I’ve shared these intimate details about my life because I’m not alone in those feelings. There are many others who feel socially inept. So, today’s devotional is for the misfits among us.
There will come a day when all misfits will fit in perfectly. That is, all misfits in Christ. In our focus text, we’re told we are “foreigners and strangers on earth.” This domicile is temporary, a way station along the path to where we truly belong.
How many times have you heard, “Don’t worry about what people think of you?” I suppose some have been blessed with that mindset. But many of us haven’t. I’ve got good news. Everybody will think well of you in heaven. It will be a level playing field. No critics, gossips, or inequality. No potential for failure or feelings of inadequacy.
The Hebrews passage refers to those who have died with a heavenly hope. They longed for a promise they didn’t receive on earth but will one day see in heaven. They were just passing through on a journey that will conclude in the same place as all who have trusted Christ.
In reality, life on this earth is temporary for everyone. We are all foreigners and strangers headed for an eternal home, either heaven or hell. In that sense, everybody’s a misfit.
But while we’re here on foreign soil, it’s important to know there is a place where we fit in perfectly. That’s in the presence of our Lord.
In Christ, you never have to worry about measuring up. He accepts you just the way you are. The Lord will listen to your every concern, even those you’re embarrassed to share with anyone else.
Misfits are dreamers. We aspire to things that others think are crazy. When I told my high school English teacher I wanted to try out for the debate team she laughed. “Try if you want to,” she said sarcastically. When I made it she was shocked. She even announced to my class that up until that moment — she hated me. My granddaddy advised against a career in music. “Get you a real job at the textile plant in Front Royal,” he insisted. Lots of people thought I was nuts when I wanted to be a DJ. And when I set my sights on becoming a pastor, most folks thought I was crazy.
But when I took my dreams to the Lord, He listened. He gave me courage and faith to move forward. And then He opened doors and blessed my efforts.
We don’t need to look to others for approval. There is only one person we have to please, and that’s Christ. We do that through faith and obedience. And when we stumble, He’s there to pick us up.
Before He went to the cross, the Lord prayed these words in our behalf: “They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.” (John 17:16) Like you and me, He was IN the world but not OF this world. He was just passing through. After His death and resurrection, He went to prepare that place where we will fit in perfectly.
Until you get there, Jesus helps you rise above your inadequacies by empowering you to do more than “…we (you) ask or imagine.” (Ephesians 3:20)
For more on this topic, check out this article: What Is Blessed Assurance and Why Do You Need It
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.