Monday, September 3, 2012

Middle of Somewhere

We’ve all heard the phrase, and most of you have probably used it at some point in your life. It’s seemingly harmless, and I’ve never really given a second thought to it before. After all, when there’s nothing else around you, the best description may very well seem like “the middle of nowhere.”

Not too long ago, I was talking with a stranger about my upcoming time in Kenya. He asked where I would be located, and I responded that it was a remote area in the north central part of the country.

“It’s kinda in the middle of nowhere.”

I figured he would nod his head in response, somewhat impressed by me venturing off into the desert. He could then shake my hand, wish me good luck, and be on his way. My haughty attitude was quickly corrected.

“That place doesn’t exist.”

I was taken aback. Excuse me? Of course it exists. I wasn’t following him until he continued with striking simplicity and amazing depth of insight.

“Every place is a somewhere.”

I couldn’t help but smile and agree with this man whom I had met only moments earlier. I hadn’t realized what I was implying beforehand. Yes, certainly, every place is a somewhere.

Two weeks ago, the somewhere I had the privilege of visiting took me to Pottstown, PA. I was able to share with a lovely and welcoming group of people the journey God has placed me on and the somewhere that I am headed to. And in return, I was able to hear about the ministry that they take part in, reaching out to people in their somewhere, so that God’s name may be proclaimed.

And in four months, my somewhere will be a remote little town in northern Kenya. There might not be a whole lot of people. There might not be a whole lot of businesses or shops. And there’s not likely to be a whole lot of “things to do” as defined by American standards.  But by no means does that qualify Korr as a nowhere. It’s teeming with people with stories and names and faces. They are valued and loved by the God who created them. And that’s more than enough to make the place they call home a somewhere.

This truth then wraps me to my core. I have value. I have worth. I am a “somebody.” Not because of anything inherent within me or because of anything I’ve done to earn those things, but rather, because God gives me value. He gives me worth. He looks at me with delight.

“But now this is what the Lord says… ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.’” [Isaiah 43:1]

God knows me by name and has redeemed me. When I have sin, he gives me forgiveness. When I am unlovely, he shows me love. And when I was a nobody, he made me a somebody.

I pray that you are reminded of this beautiful truth each time the sun appears over the horizon and a new day begins. The worth that is found in Him is a gift that He freely offers, and I desire for everyone to be enveloped in that incredible reality. Nothing else can ever truly satisfy.

Be renewed in that hope. Wherever life has you. In your middle of somewhere.