You are Welcome

Just as I was about to walk into church the other morning, I said good morning to one of the older youth members who was on the porch. This young man has a great sense of humor and a love-filled heart for God. He smiled innocently at me and said “You’re not welcome here,” as he continued to strum his guitar. I laughed at him and proceeded to enter the church.

It hit me in the middle of worship, how, (I know he was only joking), sometimes I feel like I’m not welcome there. Not by God and not by my congregants. My insecurities suffocate me with people. I look around and, while I’m friendly with just about everyone there, and great friends with a few, I feel lost and out of place. Which often mirrors how I feel with God. I feel like they (God included) just deal with me, because they have to- ‘it’s the Christian thing to do’. I don’t feel comfortable, secure or wanted. I find myself alone and feeling like I don’t belong. I want to turn around and walk out the door before anyone notices I even entered.

It’s in those times that I know I need to stay. It’s those times that God is calling me to sit down and be still (Psalm 46:10). It’s those times that, when I feel the emptiest and loneliest, I must let my insecurities go and allow Him to fill me and befriend me. God wants me, all of me, to be with Him at all times. If I’m feeling lost and alone without Him, all I need to do is call out to Him. He never left me; (Deuteronomy 31:6, 8, Joshua 1:5, Hebrews 13:5) I inadvertently walked away, or at the very least turned my back.

While I can’t speak for my congregants, I can speak for my God—and He wants me there. His sole purpose in creating me (and all of us) is for a relationship (Genesis 1:27, John 14:23). He wants to be mine, while I am His. (1 John 3:1) He doesn’t allow my past (and even future) mistakes to cloud His judgment of me. (Luke 23:43) He loves me, in spite of and because of my imperfections. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) He knows that my sin will eventually pull me closer to Him. It’s because of His love that I want to be better, try harder; for Him. Regardless of what I have done (and will do), God wants me. Nothing I have done, or could ever do will push Him away from me. He will never leave me, nor forsake me. His house will always be open to me; His ears will always hear me; His heart will always love me.

It’s a humbling feeling to know that you can never disappoint our God. You will never lose His love. You will never lose Him. Despite your sins, He loves you. He doesn’t love your sin, but He loves you. He knows you are so much more than your sin, (Psalm 103:12, Psalm 139, Isaiah 43:7, Jeremiah 1:5, Matthew 10:30, Luke 12:7) and because of that He forgives you. At your repentance, He accepted and let it go. (1 John 1:9) It’s time for you (and me) to let it go. When you enter His house, or even when you bow your head at the table, or drop to your knees by your bed, let it go. Give it all to Him; your past, your insecurities, your faults. (1 Peter 5:6-7) Allow Him to take the burden away from you. (Matthew 11:28-30) Allow Him to welcome you into His home and into His Kingdom. It’s where He wants you to be; with Him; for eternity. (John 5:24, John 6:27, John 11:25-26)