Everybody in some way struggles with wanting to feel like they belong somewhere. But when you move around a lot and your home life looks so different from anyone else’s, it might be hard to find friends who understand what you’re going through. And when friends are slow in coming, it’s easy to feel like they will never come, leaving you with a sense of insignificance and abandonment.
This clip from Tangled shows the insignificance Flynn felt as an orphan and what he did to try and overcome it:
In this clip, we learn that the seemingly strong and confident character of Flynn is really a lot more fragile than he lets on. Flynn hides his true name of Eugene Fitzherbert and the fact that he is an orphan from the world, and instead tries to change who he is by adopting his hero’s name of Flynnigan Ryder. While gallivanting about, thieving, and overall trying to live the life of someone else, Flynn doesn’t feel that Eugene Fitzherbert is worth anything to anybody. It’s not until he meets the flamboyant and accepting Rapunzel that Flynn starts to realize that Eugene might actually be worth someone’s time.
The thing is, many of us often feel like Flynn at some point in our lives. Maybe you have a complicated or sad past that you would rather no one know about. Or maybe you feel like your real personality isn’t what the world wants or approves of. Soon you find yourself trying to become a celebrity the world does approve of in order to make the friends you want. Feeling like you are not wanted by anybody is never a good feeling, but God gives us a much better solution than being somebody you’re not.
The following passages of Scripture brings us into the middle of Moses’ story. There is some part of Moses’ story we have all heard of—the baby found in the river by Pharaoh’s daughter, the boy growing up in an Egyptian house, the man who God chose to rescue the Israelites from Egyptian oppression. After all this, how could Moses ever have felt insignificant or abandoned? A hint to the answer is found in Exodus 2:11-16. Here we find Moses knowing he is a Hebrew and, after witnessing an Egyptian kill a Hebrew slave, kills that Egyptian in turn. Moses did this in an act of trying to protect his people, but what is the response of a fellow Hebrew Moses finds fighting with another man? The slave mocks Moses and asks if he’s going to kill him too! How’s that for gratitude? When Moses realized that everyone knew what he had done and that the Pharaoh was out to kill him, he ran away. Of all the people who should have been grateful for what Moses did, it would be the Hebrews! But Moses found that he was so unwanted by his own people that he left town fast.
So is that the answer to whenever we feel unwanted or abandoned? To run away? The answer to that can also be found in Moses’ story in Exodus chapter 3. In this chapter we catch up with God calling Moses through the burning bush, telling him to return to Egypt in order to free the Hebrews, God’s chosen people. God knew Moses couldn’t stay away forever and had chosen him to be the means in which the Hebrews would be freed. Moses obviously wasn’t thrilled at this turn of events, yet—and this is the key—God told Moses that he will be with him. God told Moses not to pay attention to what anyone else said, and to listen only to what God was telling him. God calls us to do the same thing in our lives. When the people around us give us the cold shoulder, we should give that hurt to God, listen, and trust that he is with us.
11When Moses had grown up, he went out to visit his people, the Hebrews, and he saw how they were forced to do hard labor. He even saw an Egyptian kill a Hebrew, one of Moses’ own people. 12Moses looked all around, and when he saw that no one was watching, he killed the Egyptian and hid his body in the sand. 13 The next day he went back and saw two Hebrew men fighting. He said to the one who was in the wrong, “Why are you beating up a fellow Hebrew?”
14The man answered, “Who made you our ruler and judge? Are you going to kill me just as you killed that Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and said to himself, “People have found out what I have done.” 15–16When the king heard about what had happened, he tried to have Moses killed, but Moses fled and went to live in the land of Midian.
Scripture: Exodus 3
- Why did Moses feel unwanted by the Hebrews? What was his response to feeling that way?
- In Exodus 3 when God confronts Moses through the burning bush, Moses is not exactly thrilled at the prospect God sets before him of delivering his people from the Egyptians. Why was Moses so reluctant to do what God asked, and what was God’s response? How does what God told Moses connect to what you may be going through in your life?
- In what ways did you connect with Moses in his story? What has been an area in your life that you have felt you were unwanted or unnoticed? How did you respond to that?
- What would it look like in your life to trust God and listen to what he says about you instead of what others say?
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There are many times in my life when I feel like Flynn and Moses—that nobody wants me. Please remind me of what you say about me, and the unconditional love you give me freely. Thank you so much for the proof of this love in sending Jesus Christ to die on the cross for my sins and rise from the dead so that I can have hope in eternal life. Help me keep my focus on you and not on what others may think of me. You are so awesome to care so much for me!