It was a normal Sunday morning at church when I sensed it. Something felt different. I’ve felt this before in bits and pieces over the past several months, but this time it was stronger.
God is moving. He feels so close I could reach out and touch Him.
He is close… that’s not just a feeling, and the truth is, I feel Him with me all the time. But His presence in our worship center that day was palpable. He filled that room.
Earlier in the service we were singing, and the minute I heard the beginning of Good Good Father, I knew it would happen. Sure enough, we were barely into the first few words and the tears began to fall. Usually that song is healing, but that day it felt like it was being used against me.
Way too easily, I was derailed, distracted, and sad.
I try to be careful not to automatically assume this stuff is from Satan. A wise pastor once said, “Only the Lord is omnipresent, and Satan can’t be everywhere at once. Don’t give him more credit that he deserves.” That has stuck with me for years, but this time it definitely seemed to be from him. The enemy is really good at reminding us of hurtful words that have been said. And he’s not always all that creative – he’ll use the same thing over and over if it works. Words that have been said about us. Words that are meant to destroy. Set on repeat.
When we let our guard down, letting those words fill our heads, it’s really easy to start believing them.
And even if it’s not him, it’s way too easy to do the same thing all by ourselves.
But not that day. That time I didn’t even have to acknowledge what was happening. God took care of that for me.
Swiftly and completely, those thoughts were gone.
Instantly, I was set back up on my feet again, tuned back in for the rest of the music, the sermon, and then just kept looking around, taking in all the incredible things God is doing at our church. The peace was back, and there was a smile on my face. Do you know why?
I know Who I belong to, and that’s more than enough.
There was a time when any reminder of rejection would have sidelined me. A time when I was way more concerned with what others thought about me than what God was doing in me. Rejection is big. It’s strong. It can be debilitating.
I’m not going to pretend that I’ll never give in to those thoughts again, but there is no doubt that I’m able to jump back up so much quicker now than I used to.
All of this has gotten me thinking about how God chases after His children.
It’s a little tough to fathom, isn’t it? This incredible God who created this beautiful world and everything in it looks at you and me with a love we’ll never fully be able to understand on this side of heaven… and wants us. He thinks about us with a gentleness like none other, and loves us so much that He’ll go to great lengths to prove it. It feels impossible, but it’s not.
-He’ll wake you up in the middle of the night to tell you.
-He’ll give you dreams while you sleep to remind you.
-He’ll make sure the exact song you need to hear at the right time will pop up on your playlist.
-He’ll prompt a friend to text you.
-He’ll make sure the encouraging quote you need to see while scrolling through Instagram shows up first.
He does all of this, and so much more, to reassure us that He’s not going anywhere. These things serve as real life reminders that we belong to Him, and that really is enough.
When you’ve been rejected, it becomes harder to trust anybody. And even though there are people in my life that I never worry about that with, I have to remind myself that even that assurance can’t satisfy my heart completely.
Only God can do that.
I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bind up the broken, and strengthen the sick… Ezekiel 34:16
There are things that happen on this side of heaven that will never make sense, and the only good you can find in it is the knowledge that our time here is temporary. It’s a blink. Heaven is so much bigger. So much better.
The junk that tries to consume us right now will one day just be a little blip on our timelines.
But rejection… I’ve thought a lot about it, trying to find the good in it… and there’s more than you think.
For one, it gives us a little better understanding of what Jesus encountered throughout his time here, and that connection has made me feel even closer to him.
Rejection also causes you to be more sensitive to what the people around you may be dealing with, and you’ll find yourself watching out for them more carefully. You have an awareness you possibly didn’t have before, and it becomes easier to stand up for someone who needs help.
But my favorite “good” in rejection is that it demonstrates God’s faithfulness to us even more. He has shown me time and again that He’ll never stop proving that He’s not going anywhere. Ever. And He’ll fight for me if I try to run. He has come after me every single time, and now, there’s no way I’d run anywhere but directly to Him.
He’ll fight for you every single time, too.
His table is open, friends.
There’s always a seat ready and waiting for you.