Stranger in a Strange Land

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Ever felt like a stranger in a strange land? Maybe we moved from one country to another. One state to another. One city to another. Those experiences can leave us feeling like we don’t fit in, can’t they?

The first day of a new school year or new school can be daunting, as can the first day on a new job. Joining a new church and finding our place can be equally challenging. Depending on the reception we receive from those established in the school, job, or church, we might feel welcomed. Or we might feel like we don’t belong.

Perhaps we’ve lived in the same town all our life and we really don’t know what it is to feel like a stranger in a strange land. We know everyone. Always have. Always will.

We go to the same school our brothers and sisters attend. We go to the same church our family has attended for generations.

The new job? We’ve known the boss since we were a kid. Nothing is new, or different. We know what to expect from our surroundings.

When I was in twelfth grade, the son of an ambassador from South America was in my Senior English class. Not a great place for someone who didn’t speak fluent English to spend a year. Especially when the class included reading and understanding works such as Beckett and Waiting for Godot. Oy, vey.

English class was not the only place Fernando felt like a stranger in a strange land. The combination on his locker was also a challenge. Hey. Remembering the combo on my locker was a challenge for me, too. That’s one reason why, when I saw Fernando struggling with his locker one day, I told him my secret. Write the combination in a special place in his notebook so he’d be able to look at it when the numbers refused to come to mind.

God promised Abraham he would make Abe into a great nation. God said he would bless him and make him famous. And God did. God also told Abraham he was to be a blessing to others.

I think sometimes we latch onto the fact God wants to bless us, and we leave out the part of God’s blessing being for the purpose of us blessing others.

God continues to bless his people so we can bless others.

Maybe we just need to look beyond our blessings to see how we can be the friendly face, pleasant voice, helpful hand, welcoming person who is willing to put ourselves in the place of someone who is feeling out of place, and share God’s love.

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt like a stranger in a strange land? Remember. If we belong to Jesus, we are strangers traveling through a strange land until the day we reach our heavenly home.

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You must not mistreat or oppress foreigners in any way. Remember, you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. Exodus 22:21 (NLT)

I wish you well.


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