Originally published Sunday, 22 September 2013.
And so you are no longer called outcasts and wanderers but citizens with God’s people, members of God’s holy family, and residents of His household. Ephesians 2:19 (VOICE)
The year I turned 13 my parents asked me what I’d like for my birthday.
I could have asked for anything but I requested an “I-Love-You” box.
I asked for a box filled with reasons why they loved me so that whenever I felt unloved I could pull one out and be reminded of the truth.
Growing up my parents never gave me any real reason to doubt that they loved me but still I still felt unloved.
In my head I knew the truth, that my family loved me, but I didn’t know how to overcome the unloved. I found my solution in an “I-Love-You” box.
On my birthday I opened up a little white box with thousands of pieces of paper from my brothers and my parents with the words “I love you.”
I still have that box somewhere.
That box did more than just remind me that I was loved, it reminded me that I belonged.
It told me that I was part of a family that embraced me.
That I was connected to a clan of people who would write “I love you” on a piece of paper and put it in a box with thousands of others just because I asked to be loved that way.
The other day I came across this quote that reminded me of that box:
Whenever you feel unloved, unimportant or insecure, remember to whom you belong. (tweet this)
In tiny letters underneath it referenced Ephesians 2:19. I pulled out my bible and flicked to the verse.
I read the words out loud – slowly – personalizing it:
And so I am no longer called an outcast and a wanderer but a citizen with God’s people, a member of God’s holy family, and a resident of His household.
I thought about that little white box, and those thousands of papers, and how the mixture of belonging had somehow loved me to wholeness.
Realizing I belonged helped me to feel less unloved.
I thought about God wants us to know how much he loves us, and what better way to do that then to tell us we belong in every way possible.
I am a citizen with God’s people.
I am a member of God’s family.
I am a resident of God’s household.
There is no loophole, no getting round the fact that I belong with God and to God. And that I am loved by God.
It’s been 17 years since I asked for an “I-Love-You” box but there are still days when I feel unloved, unimportant or insecure.
Perhaps I never needed that box after all, what I really needed was to read the words in Ephesians 2:19 until my soul believed them.
Until this truth was written on my heart:
I belong to God, and I am wholly and fully known, and loved by him. (tweet this)
Ponder: When you have felt unloved, unimportant or insecure in the past how have you dealt with it? How will this verse help you to behave differently.
Prayer: Lord, I’m having one of those days when I need to be reminded that I am loved and important to you. Help me believe Eph 2:19. Amen.
You can share this devotional on twitter by clicking here. I’d also love for you to connect with me on my Facebook and twitter pages or if you're viewing this via email you can leave a comment by clicking here.