Keeping It Real: Belonging



Isn’t it ironic how our most significant moments often arrive on the most ordinary of days?

I zipped down Interstate 40 headed to Greensboro. In my usual multitasking mode, I popped in a CD for a listen I promised a friend. The speaker’s name escapes me. I just vaguely recall him describing how it looks to truly belong to God.

Suddenly, the traffic rush froze into a wall of brake lights. After three minutes in bumper-to-bumper gridlock (yes, I counted), I broke into full-blown panic. Sitting in motionless traffic makes me a little crazy. (OK, a LOT crazy!) Every moment I sat stagnant escalated my impatience.

I surveyed my options, determined to find a solution. “If I get off the next exit, surely there’s an alternate route. But how can I maneuver to the next exit?” Despite all my scheming for exit strategies, I found myself trapped. Every part of my schedule slipped from my control, my plans derailing before my eyes.

Amid this mounting agitation, what happened next surely marked me. It was as if God realized I missed everything He had tried to pour into me minutes earlier. My ears heard what it looks like to truly belong to Him, but my heart missed it entirely. My sense of belonging got put to the test, and I flunked miserably as I defaulted to “control freak” with a vengeance.

Without warning, as my mind raced, the atmosphere in that car transformed. It was as if God resided right there in that space with me. Instantly, my anxiety dwindled into utter irrelevance. It felt as if nothing else in the world needed His attention; like Abba was all mine and I was the only thing that mattered.

Tears washed my cheeks as an image of Abba sitting in the driver’s seat became so real. I saw myself sitting peacefully in the back seat while He got me everywhere I needed to go—no stress about the condition of the car, the amount of fuel in the tank, where we were going, or how we were getting there. My Father had everything completely under control.

In fact, my responsibility was not in the “doing” at all; it was in the “being.” I just needed to keep my eyes locked on His. I gazed in the rearview mirror, and He gazed back at me with a smile and a wink in His eye. Abba was proud to tell the whole world that I belonged to Him, His sheer delight obvious from His countenance.

Unexplainable peace washed over me. All my stress and hurriedness spilled out. I belonged to God. I intimately knew it. He was big enough to cover every detail. His delight settled over me like nothing I had ever experienced. With that assurance, I believed no matter what God asked of me, I could do it.

No matter how terrified I feel when He asks me to step into the seemingly impossible, if I keep my eyes locked on His eyes of delight, I can do it. I don’t have to know where I’m going or how I’m getting there. As long as He’s in that driver’s seat and I can see the peaceful pleasure in His countenance, “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

Oh, how our weightiness lifts when we realize we don’t need to have all the answers. Even when we give everything we’ve got, sometimes that’s still not enough. It’s so liberating to rest in the One who IS more than enough. When we deeply trust the Father’s delight for us and His capacity to handle every detail of our journey, we get to ditch the burden of being tethered to the best we can do. We run free within His best!

Friend, God’s delight is in YOU! He longs to show the world that YOU belong to Him. He longs to meet your eyes with His gaze. Before you “do” anything, rest in simply “being” His. While you’re at it, enjoy the backseat view. It’s breathtaking!

For comments or prayer, contact Dr. Lanier at HopeCommunityChurch.tv.


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