Rejection feels so ... "rejectionny." ;) That's the first word that comes to mind, but that's the easy way out. Rejection is: disappointing, confusing, hopeless, hurtful ... for starters.
This week I felt rejected. I had been waiting for news from a national women's publication for 4 months. I was at the last level of acceptance for 2 articles; the news came that the publication was folding, and the articles were not going anywhere. I felt rejected.
Writers are told we have to submit, submit, submit and expect to be rejected, rejected, rejected. It's supposed to build character (and better writing), but it sure does feel "rejectionny." ;) The Lord picked me up again (using the arms of my sweet children and husband) and will point me in a new direction. But rejection is just a part of life .... and Christmas!
One of the greatest symbols of Christmas rejection is the image of leftover trees unchosen and on the lot Dec. 26. Unwanted. Unused. Garbage. It's the ugly side of the Christmas hoopla. Makes me want to start a ministry for unclaimed Christmas trees called RUST ... Reaching Unwanted Seasonal Trees (NOT being serious!?!? :) ). Or CLAP ... Caring for Leftover Abandoned Pines. Enough of that ...
Rejection is real.
Tonight I visited a shelter for addicted and abused women. I went with 7 women from my church as we delivered "Scarves for Knoxville". We got to enjoy, pray for, listen to, and give to women who have experienced a lot of rejection taking them to dark holes from which they are still trying to climb. Many are separated from family and children during Christmas. Many feel rejected.
Mary must've experienced rejection from neighbors and friends when she tried to explain that she had miraculously conceived though she had never "known" a man. They probably said, "Suuuure, Mary. Miraaaaculous," rolling their eyes then walking away.
But God is the God Who loves, calling Mary, "highly favored one... the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!" Luke 1:28. He told her she had His favor, His pleasure, His acceptance. What a relief that must've been in the dark moments.
Jesus was rejected by the very ones He came to save. Ultimate rejection of the supreme gift. God understands the feelings of rejection we experience, because He felt them first hand.
I love it that in a world where we all experience rejection sooner or later God says:
Isaiah 53:3 (NIV)
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Romans 15:7 (NIV)
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
Jesus' sacrifice on our behalf makes us acceptable to God. We won't ever get a rejection letter from Him, be put out from His Kingdom, find ourselves discarded, or watch His eyes roll as He turns His back on us. Since man rejected God there has to be a way for us to be accepted, so Christmas happened ... the answer to rejection! That's ultimate acceptance by the supreme God, and that doesn't feel "rejectionny" at all. I think THAT really feels "Christmassy!"
Has life felt "rejectionny" for you lately? Take heart, blog reading friend, God's acceptance is complete. We can smile at the future about that. Blessings to you as you enjoy the Christmas season this weekend!