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You Can't Sit Here

Belonging Intimacy with God Marriage Supper of the Lamb

Source: THE SACRED ROMANCE by John Eldredge, pp. 181-82

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Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-01-13

Scripture: John 14:2

Author: John Eldredge
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ILLUSTRATION

John Eldredge, in his book SACRED ROMANCE, shares the pain of not belonging:

Being left out is one of life’s most painful experiences. I remember the daily fourth-grade torture of waiting in line while the captains chose their teams for the kickball games. As each captain took turns choosing a player, descending from best to worst, our rank in fourth-grade society was reinforced. Though others fared worse than I—“Don’t make us take Smitty, we had him last time”—I was never the first to be chosen. No one ever said, “Wait—we get Eldredge this time!” I didn’t feel wanted; at best, I felt tolerated. And then there was junior high cafeteria. After buying lunch, you carried your tray out into the dining room, looking for a place to eat. There was an unspoken hierarchy that determined where you could sit. I walked over to table filled with the “cool” kids, but before I could sit down, one of them sneered, “Not here, Eldredge, we’re saving this for someone else.”

John Eldredge is an author, a counselor, and teacher. He is also president of Ransomed Heart, a ministry devoted to helping people discover the heart of God, recover their own heart in his love, and learn to live in his Kingdom.

APPLICATION

“These,” he says, “are some of the ways I learned the lesson that I was on the outside."

Throughout our lives, each one of us lives with a constant nagging that we never quite fit in, we never truly belong. We’ve all had enough experience to teach us that we will never be allowed into the “sacred circle,” the place of intimacy. …

On the other hand, there is the joy of having someone save a place for us. WE walk into a crowded room at church or at a dinner party and someone cares, he waves us over, pointing to a chair he’s held on to especially for us. For a moment we feel a sense of relief, a taste of being on the inside. Now consider Jesus’ worlds in John 14:2—“I am going … to prepare a place for you.” … When we walk into the wedding feast of the Lamb … We’ll be welcomed to the table by our Lord himself. … There will be a seat with our name on it, held open at Jesus’ command for us and no other.”

I Have At Least One Fan

Fatherhood Encouragement Belonging

Source: “James Jordan: Shock and Sadness Follow Shooting Death of Michael Jordan’s Father,” JET MAGAZINE, 8/30/93.

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-07-20

Scripture: Ephesians 6:4

Author: Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

Michael Jordan is one of the most beloved sports figures of the modern era.  He achieved success on levels few of us will ever know.  Celebrated as one of the best basketball players of all time, he had fame, acclaim, celebrity, and wealth.  These are hardly the ingredients the result in a needy personality.  Yet Jordan yearned for emotional support that he couldn’t find from his coaches, his teammates, or his fans.  It was his father’s approval and support for which he longed.  Chicago Tribune sports writer Bob Greene recounts from an interview with Jordan, prior to the death of his father, James, that he would strobe the stands before each game in search of his dad’s reassuring face.  “When he’s there,” Jordan said, “I know I have at least one fan."

APPLICATION

James and Michael had a special bond.  James was not just his father; he was his closest confidant and companion.  He was not the stern and demanding disciplinarian; he was the tender, encouraging mentor.  Do your children know that as long as you are there, they have at least one fan?

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

Uncanny Recognition

Motherhood God's Care Belonging

Source: "A Mother's Touch" by Daniella Ashkenazy, Israeli Magazine-On-The-Web, January 2001

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-05-09

Scripture: Psalms 139: ; Jeremiah 1:5

Author: Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

It has been reported that mothers can identify their newborn babies by smell, but it has also been demonstrated that they can identify them by blind touch, as well.  Results of a series of studies, conducted by Marsha Kaitz, a psychology professor at Hebrew University and reported in the Israeli Magazine-on-the-Web (January 2001) demonstrated uncanny maternal  recognition ability.

In the first study, 42 post-partum women who had spent at least 1 hour with their newborns were asked to select purely by smell a t-shirt worn by their infant.  Each woman was asked to sniff three bags, each of which contained a shirt worn by a newborn, only one of which was worn by their own.  100% of the women were able to choose correctly the shirt worn by their own offspring!

In a second study, 68 new mothers, with their eyes and noses covered, were asked to identify their own infants purely by touch.  69% were able to do so by simply touching their newborn’s hand.  When asked how they did so, most said they recognized either the texture or temperature of their infant’s skin.  40%, however, said they could not identify any particular sensory cue—the just “knew” it was their baby.

APPLICATION

The Lord Himself assures us, “Before I formed you in your mother’s womb, I knew you” (Jeremiah 1:5).  From before our conception, through every subsequent action and thought (Psalms 139), the Lord knows us more fully and completely than we are known by any other.  “Lord, You search me and You know me” (Psalms 139:1). 

This Ain't the Ritz

Belonging Self-worth Forgiveness

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-02-28

Scripture: John 6:37

Author: Robert J. Morgan
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Finding Joy

Belonging Joy Seeker

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-01-20

Scripture: Jeremiah 24:7 ; Jeremiah 29:13

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Belonging to God

Self-worth Value (True Worth) Belonging

Contributed By: Seth Dillon | Date Posted: 2010-09-05

Scripture: Galatians 3:29

Author: Greg Asimakoupoulos
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Pressure to Conform

Conformity Fellowship Transformation

Contributed By: Stephen Kingsley | Date Posted: 2019-01-29

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 6:14 ; Romans 12:2

Author: Stephen Kingsley
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No Better Hope Than Heaven

Heaven Hope Resurrection

Contributed By: Rod Crowell | Date Posted: 2018-08-14

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 2:9 ; 2 Corinthians 5:4

Author: Rod Crowell / Illustration Exchange
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The Search for the Perfect Man

Humor Romance Relationships

Contributed By: Mitchell Dillon | Date Posted: 2018-03-09

Scripture: Ephesians 5:25

Author: Unknown
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At A Loss For Words

Prayer Worldliness Communion

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2018-01-08

Scripture: Matthew 6:8 ; Romans 8:26

Author: Illustration Exchange
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