We sat on the sofa as we do every Saturday on our house, eating pizza and watching a film.
It’s funny how it happens sometimes, God reaching down in the middle of the mundane, the ordinary, the everyday.
You hardly expect a revelation from a cartoon full of small blue people. But hey – who am I to hang on to what I expect God to do anymore?
So here it is: A lesson in belonging from Smurfs 2, written out for my best friend’s boy. And maybe you too.
So you know Smurfette wasn’t a real smurf right? She was made bad by Gargamel in the beginning, but Papa Smurf saw the good in her. He loved her and gave her new a new home; a new family, a new start. He made her a true blue smurf. You can see what’s coming, can’t you?
It’s just a little bit like God did with us.
And all was good. Except Smurfette couldn’t completely forget where she came from. Most of the time she was happy, and she knew the Smurfs loved her, but sometimes…. sometimes she remembered what she was in the beginning and it made her wonder.
Like, could she really deserve this fresh start? Wasn’t she still grey – and not blue at all – deep down? Would they one day see who she really was?
Do you see it? How we do that too, to God? He takes all our bad stuff away, and yet we keep on coming back to it. Keep on worrying, fretting that we don’t really belong here.
And then one day, the Smurfs were busy. Smurfette didn’t know they were busy planning something nice for her, and she felt hurt. Those doubts– the ones that had been there all along – began to creep back into her mind. Was she really a real smurf? Maybe she’d never really fit in. Maybe they didn’t love her at all. And suddenly she felt alone.
And sometimes we do that too. When Jesus died on the cross for us, it was so we could have what Smurfette had – a new start, a new family; a new life full of all the good things that God has planned for us. But sometimes we doubt – they creep in small but they can grow big if we let them. It shouldn’t happen, but it does – someone we love lets us down, someone who should know better isn’t there for us or is unkind. And we don’t understand. We feel hurt. It happens all the time – even in our churches and our families. And then the questions come:
Do I really fit in here?
Does God really love me even?
Will I ever be good enough?
And we get tricked – just like Smurfette did – into thinking that the hurt is real. And we run from the people that love us – God, our families, our church – because we believe the lie that was there even in the beginning, when the serpent whispered it quiet into Eve’s ear.
They don’t love me.
I don’t really belong here.
I could have more fun and be happier somewhere else.
We find somewhere new to belong – or someone new to belong to – and to begin with, it all seems fine. Just like when Smurfette met Vexy –a naughtie just like her. Or really – like she used to be – and there is a difference.
Because who we were – before we knew God – and who we are now are different. God puts it best when he says that we are made new (2 Cor 5:17), that we are adopted into his family, and that along with Jesus, we will inherit everything that God has (Ephesians 1:5, Romans 8:17).
So hear me – God loves you. And He has put you in a family – a natural one and a spiritual one – that love you too. But remember, people aren’t perfect. And sometimes they’ll hurt you and let you down. I’m sorry for that, and if I could stop it happening, believe me I would. Just like I would for my own children too.
And when it happens – when you feel hurt, or lonely, or let down – when you don’t understand or when you’re wondering – like Smurfette did – whether God is ever going to show up?
That’s when the snake might just chance his arm and whisper lies into your ear too.
In those moments, it’s important to know enough truth to cling on to:
We are loved (John 3:16)
We are worthy (Colossians 1:12)
We are made new (2 Corinthians 5:17)
God loves you.
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him” Romans 8:28
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8
Because if we don’t know those truths – if we believe the lie that we’re not loved by God, we’re not worthy, we’re not made new – we end up spilling the secret, just like Smurfette did. We end up handing over our most treasured possession – our faith, our hope – to the ultimate trickster.
But even then – even then there is grace. Because no matter how many times we fall, or what is in our past, God loves us anyway. Loves us so much that he didn’t even hold back his own son, but gave him to die on the cross for us (Romans 8:32). And if he did that, what wouldn’t he do for us? Why wouldn’t he show up when we need him?
So trust him, and know that he’ll always love you, no matter what.
As Papa Smurf said
“It doesn’t matter where you come from, what matters is what you choose to be. “