On Rejection: an excerpt from Bare Naked Truths.
What people cast aside, God keeps close.
Judges 11:1-3 (NIV)
“Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty warrior. His father was Gilead; his mother was a prostitute. Gilead’s wife also bore him sons, and when they were grown up, they drove Jephthah away. “You are not going to get any inheritance in our family,” they said, “because you are the son of another woman.” So Jephthah fled from his brothers and settled in the land of Tob, where a gang of scoundrels gathered around him and followed him.”
Sent away. Cast aside. Completely unwanted. Have you ever felt it?
It’s the feeling of trying out for the team and not making it. Like being the girl that wasn’t asked to the dance, or interviewing for your dream job and being told, “No, thank you.” It’s the emotion that can cause us to question if we’re even in the will of God at all. We’ve all had that dreadful, sinking feeling in our heart. It seems to come partnered with a certain fear that our dreams might be going down with it. It’s not a good feeling and it comes with question marks- lots of them: Do you really have a plan for me?
Have I completely missed your calling?
Where do I fit in? Did I do something wrong?
Is there anything inside of me you CAN use?
Why am I constantly overlooked?
We can question ourselves into a corner and then feel like we’ve been put into a spiritual “time-out.” I’ve done it more times than I care to admit. All the while, God is patiently waiting by the sideline, ready to answer; just waiting to be heard.
Jephthah appears doomed from conception with a mom who had no interest in him. Add brothers who told him he didn’t belong and dismissed him, he had nowhere to go. Just like that. They chose their inheritance over their brother. The very ones that were supposed to love him the most cared the least. I wish scripture told us about his reaction. What did he think? How did he feel? Where was God in all of this? I often wonder if the men and women in the Bible trusted the Lord in their most difficult times. I hope he knew that even though he was disposable to them, he was invaluable to God.
I hope you know that too. What feels like the ridicule of rejection can actually be the sweetness of God’s love and protection. When people fail us, God will not.
When others scream No, His love is still there.
Maybe we aren’t ready.
Maybe they aren’t the right friend.
Maybe that job would’ve been the worst experience of your life.
Maybe you lived through something horrendous and the sheer fact you’re still alive is proof that God’s love is chasing you down.
All hope is not lost.
A “no” to our heart is an opportunity to welcome a “know” from God; to know Him more intimately. Sometimes we just need to know in the depth of our being that even if every human on the face of the earth doesn’t see value in us, God’s love will sustain us. Rejection is painful but it is not permanent. God will allow our soul to ache if it means we find Him in our despair. He desires to be the one we run to. The times in my life I’ve felt the most pushed aside, God was pursuing me and instilling purpose. We must dare to hurt if we are to be truly healed.