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Deeply Satisfying Lifelong Belonging

By Becky Wood

Madonna

HOW DID I ARRIVE AT THIS SET OF WORDS? I was pondering the idea of the “all sufficient” nature of God. I was searching for examples of visual images of what “all sufficient” might look like. I landed on a magazine picture showing a smiling mom breastfeeding her fuzzy-headed baby. There was no sense of rush. They had eye contact. It’s an intimate act that spans the globe. I appreciated the giving and receiving that was happening in that practical moment. Both people’s needs were being met. It was a place of trust that builds into the future. In that moment, there is no question about who, or where, one belongs. That’s where the attributes of “all sufficient” blended into a new meaning. The relationship that is “all sufficient” is also deeply satisfying and has the sturdiness of lifelong belonging.

I have been privileged to see people’s ah-ha moments when they felt their sense of an all-sufficient belonging with God.

There was the first time a friend of mine “heard” God speak to her. The sentence that transformed things was “I have been with you. I have always been with you.”

People later in life report seeing how God has always been with them… even in the confusing times. A woman reports how as a child her home burned down, and in retrospect she sees the deep love of God towards her in the midst of that destruction. A man’s entire sense of his life was altered as his growing sense of God was included.

It seems to me, our life is influenced by the way we greet it. Our day differs by the posture we take towards it. What could be the difference for me as I embrace that I have a deeply satisfying lifelong belonging?

  • I would worry less. It would save me a lot of energy by resting in Whom I know. A child may worry a lot about things the parent already has a plan of action for. A child doesn’t know the pace, the cause and effect, or the possibilities that lay ahead. It would be okay for me to relax and enjoy. My worries having been already answered.
  • I would have hints about my characteristics as I age. It’s likely I will age in the same manner as the one I share belonging. “I am the Vine. You are the branches.” If I’m attached to a grape vine, strong odds I’m going to grow into a grape. If I’m attached to a God-vine characterized by love and healing, strong odds I’m going to grow into a God-fruit characterized by love and healing.

As I continued looking at this image of momma and baby, I saw its limitations. I got curious about what happens to my image when the fuzzy-headed baby’s senses and skills become more sophisticated. Babies come to master gross motor skills and learn fine motor skills. Likewise, we grow in spiritual maturity. I wondered what the teenage version of “all sufficient” would look like… or what the adult version would be. What might “all sufficient” mean when a person is capable? I began to ponder the famous picture of the Lord’s supper. I’m still in that process of inquiry. Adults in partnership with God-all-sufficient. Adults here on earth, friends and partners with the Holy. I’m also thinking about Jesus and the interactions he had with fisherman. What can I learn about the all-sufficient nature of God as stormy waters were calmed by verbal command? Jesus is definitely not afraid of the things I’m afraid of! Whew. “Put your nets on the other side of the boat, there you will find fish.” That sounds like wisdom, provision and kindness for tired workers. Interesting!

God All Sufficient. God when I’m vulnerable. God when I’m capable. A deeply satisfying lifelong belonging. I encourage you to keep looking for “freeze frames” that might illuminate what the spectrum of human development can be in the presence of God and in partnership with the Holy.