Posted by: New in Every Way | July 2, 2012

Home Is Where the Heart Is

I did not grow up in the United States.  My parents were Free Methodist missionaries, so I grew up on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola—on the Dominican Republic side. When I was thirteen, our family relocated to Nogales, Arizona, on the Mexican border. It took me a while to sort out where I belonged. I counted two very different cultures as “home.” I loved both the Latin American island life of my childhood and my new life in the U.S., but I also saw flaws in each culture.

What finally settled the issue for me had nothing to do with which culture or nation was “better.” What it boiled down to was the fact that my parents had passed on to me their love for their country. To this day, the United States feels like home, because that is where my heart is.

Does this “blind nationalism” make sense to me? No, it doesn’t. But knowing where we belong touches a deeper place in us than reasoning can reach. God created us with an innate capacity for relationship and belonging.

The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:18 NIV).  

“God sets the solitary in families” (Psalm 68:6 NKJV).

“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people (Jeremiah 31:33 NIV)

The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspringforever (Genesis 13:14-15 NIV).

God wants us to belong to him in a loving relationship. And he set us in other groups—nations, families, and friends—to enjoy and care for each other.

 

Making It Personal

  • What do you love about this land? (If you are not an American, what do you love about your country?)
  • Do you have a firm sense of belonging to a nation, city, family, neighborhood, church, etc.? If not, you can turn to God for his acceptance and love—and placement in supportive “families.”

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