My day began at 5:30am. I didn’t want to wake up that early. Try as I might I just couldn’t go back to sleep. I have to be up early for work during the week so on Saturday I try to get a little more than 30 minutes of extra sleep. Don’t you just hate that? All week you have to be up early for work, and Saturday comes and you think – yes! I can sleep in a little longer. However, as I shuffled downstairs to turn my coffee pot on, I thanked God for waking me up another day.
A few things have been swirling around in my mind lately. That can either be a good thing, or very dangerous, depending on the topic at hand. This time my thoughts served as a reminder for me, and today God tied the past to the present. He is so good!
There’s a new book out by an author, and speaker, that I follow on social media, Lysa Terkeurst. Her book is called “Uninvited.” When I saw that my thoughts immediately turned to “I should have written that.” However, God knows what He’s doing, and I didn’t need to write it because He was moving me out of the arena of being uninvited. I have not read her new book, and as of now don’t plan on reading it. I’m sure it’s good.
Being up so early I decided to go for a walk. While walking my thoughts turned to her book and then it was contrasted by the picture of my parents with their great-grandkids over July 4th. Immediately God showed me that my dad was displaying what it looks like when God choose us, and includes us. When God grafts us in.
“You didn’t choose Me. I choose you.” Jn. 15:16a NLT
We had a family reunion over July 4th week and all of us had gathered together at the lake. A few days before we would all meet I was informed that my brother would be bringing a new person. The foster child he and my sister-in-law were in the process of taking in. Along with that, three more people that were not in the family lineage would be joining us. Then I thought nothing of it. My family is very welcoming. We invite others to holiday gatherings, family dinners, or just to hang out. We realize that not everyone may have somewhere to go. I think my dad instilled that in me. He was always talking to someone. He never met a stranger.
But Lysa’s book “Uninvited,” triggered memories for me. Just a short time ago, I was the one that was uninvited. No, not by my family. Holidays, parties, events, I was not invited. This was the way it was and all involved knew – uninvited. Time after time I would hold out hope, and wish. But, things remained unchanged. I was the one. Uninvited.
If that has ever been you. I can relate. It’s no fun. Feelings of inferiority and loneliness, made to feel unimportant, or kept as an outcast. It does not matter what a person says – it’s what they do. Actions will always speak louder.
I have let it go. I focus on other things – my goals, work, family, and the plans God has for my life. Yet today, a title of a book resurrected the feelings of just a short time back. The pace of my walk slowed as I could feel the weight of the memories pressing on me. But God, being the faithful Father he is, quickly moved the picture I mentioned earlier into my mind’s eye. Then spoke to my spirit.
“I have spoken of these matters in figures of speech, but soon I will stop speaking figuratively and will tell you plainly all about the Father.” Jn. 16:25 NLT
The picture was taken on July 4th, and prior to the trip I had purchased t-shirts from Old Navy for all the kids. We would all be dressed in unison. This included props for the kids – sunglasses. That morning, the air was just right. The lake was calm, and the trees stood at attention, as all the kids gathered around them by the fire pit. I was gathering the great-grandchildren for the picture and my dad immediately interrupts and says, “All the kids come over here! All kids come on.” That would include my brother’s foster son, and the two other children that were with us. Only the foster child and one of the two joined in. At once all the kids had their props on, everyone was positioned, and it was all smiles from right to left. Everyone was included. My dad says, “That’s how it should be everyone is included.” My dad had grafted them in. In that picture we were one family. Everyone was invited.
With that God spoke to my spirit and said, “you may have been excluded in your life in the past, but I have included you. I invited you, and you came.” If you’ve ever been excluded, kept out, or shunned, friend I’m here to tell you – Christ invites you.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Mt. 11:28 ESV
My dad is not Christ, but for that moment God gave me a little glimmer of what Christ does when he includes us and grafts us in. My dad was the perfect example. When Christ calls us he invites us to be part of His family.
“And you Gentiles … have been grafted in.” Ro. 11:17a NLT
In the past when my feelings were hurt, and disregarded, God says –
“At the place where they were told, ‘You are not my people, there they will be called ‘children of the Living God.” Ro. 9:26NLT
Today God reminded me that of all the times I was uninvited – He had already given me the best invitation! The invitation to be part of His family!
“It is he who saved us and chose us for his holy work not because we deserved it but because that was his plan long before the world began—to show his love and kindness to us through Christ.” 2 Ti. 1:9 TLB
So friend, if that’s you today. If you are:
- Made to feel less than
- Feeling left out
Please let me give you some reassurance that people may treat you like that, but you have a Heavenly Father that loves you, includes you, and will always invite you.
“I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” Jer. 29:11 MSG
© Gentle Whisper Ministries 2016
*pictures by ebay, dreamstime