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But I don't feel loved...

Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit? to be out of your sight? If I climb to the sky, you’re there! If I go underground, you’re there! If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon, you’d find me in a minute—you’re already there waiting! Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark! At night I’m immersed in the light!” It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you; night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you. (Psalm 139:7-12)

Useless. Unsatisfactory. Not measuring up. One of the "darkest" places to be is in the place of rejection. There we find the individual actually believing they have no purpose in our lives - discarded by those who should accept them, oftentimes refusing to accept them and what they bring into their lives. One of the toughest things to learn to do with people who treat others as though they are "rejects" in this earth is to NOT reject them because of their "actions" of intolerance or superior judgment! It is only natural to want to reject those who hurt us, abuse us, or treat some of us as though our sins are too great to be forgiven. It is also a very dangerous place to tread - because when we move into a place of judge in their lives - a place ONLY God can occupy - we are treading on very shaky ground. I don't want to focus on the one who rejects so much as on the one who has been rejected today. The place of darkness this rejection creates in the lives of those who suffer at the hands of those who reject them is almost insurmountable - leading some to do unspeakable things - even the thought of taking one's own life.

What does an individual who is being rejected experience? The gamut of emotions range from being angry at those who reject them to feeling immensely useless and hopeless are quite common to those who have been rejected by others. In fact, the list of emotional ups and downs is probably too large to even begin to consider here this morning. Suffice it to say, rejection wreaks havoc on our emotions - and in turn, on our self-image, our ability to relate to others in the future, and the desire to ever begin to trust again. Why? Trust has been grossly violated. We placed some fragment of trust in the one who rejected us - now it is difficult to want to ever trust again. Relationships become a thing we fear rather than embrace. How we see ourselves is "shaded" by the impression the rejection has left - much like a hand print in wet cement hardens in time, always reflecting the impression left behind by the influence of the pressure exerted when the cement was at its most "form-able" phase.

Here we find the psalmist's heart exposing some of the anguish of his own rejection - he had been hurt by his closest of friends, wounded by children who just did not seem to understand the importance of his wisdom, and guilt-ridden in his own shame over sins he had committed. Sound like anyone we might know? I know his "experiences" in life hit close to home for me - this is probably why I associate so closely with David's teachings, and those of his son, Solomon. The heart of David constantly cried out to God for mercy. Truth be told...the heart of this gal constantly cries out to God for more grace, more mercy, more of Christ in me. David is eloquent in describing just how one who experiences rejection "feels". They want to escape the pain. They look for a place to curl up so they can hide from the anguish of the rejection. There is an attempt to flee the pain - looking high and low for the thing which will cover over the intense sting rejection leaves. One who has been rejected by another wants to be out of sight - for even seeing themselves hurts!

We can try to escape God's Spirit, but where can we actually "go" to flee from God's compassion and his grace? The answer: NOWHERE! Why is it we are trying to escape God's Spirit anyway? Isn't it because we don't even believe God loves us at the point where we are experiencing such rejection from others? Does it come as any surprise to you to see Satan's "design" in the very actions of rejection? His goal is to get us AWAY (and keep us away) from the very thing which we need the most! His greatest joy comes when we flee from God! His greatest fear is when we run to God! We cannot avoid the Spirit of God. He is even there when we attempt to avoid him. We might purposefully attempt to avoid encountering him, but he purposefully pursues us anyway! We try to cover up or hide - not because we ARE unworthy, but because we FEEL unworthy. We believe the lie rejection brings - no one, not even God, wants us. The furthest thing is true - even when NO ONE wants us, God loves us deeply, embraces us closely, and believes in us immensely. When we feel the sting of rejection, it is natural to want to do one of two things. Either we begin to live a lie - falsely escalating in joyful cheer, making the others think all is well with us, or we attempt to flee underground, trying to escape without further "damages" being experienced.

The most amazing part of this God's just being THERE. Not by accident, but because he has determined to be waiting for us wherever we attempt to flee! Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark! At night I’m immersed in the light!” It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you; night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you. Even in our darkest place, God immerses us in his light! Darkness isn't darkness to God! In fact, no darkness dwells where God is - God is everywhere we are, so where we are is in light, not darkness! I don't know the havoc rejection has brought into your life, but here's the hope I want you to find - God is not the author of this rejection! He is the author of YOU. As the author, he can re-write anything in your life which causes you pain. Sometimes it is in the actions of forgiving the one who rejected you. At other times, it is in the actions of coming out of hiding, learning to be comfortable with who you are and how God made you - all your quirks and hang-ups included. No "chapter" of your life is written in stone - except the Chapter of Grace! The author has seen to it that GRACE will always be a part of your life! First, grace to you - then, grace through you! God's grace is waiting to embrace you in this your most darkest of hours! Reach out - take his hand - he is already there waiting! Just sayin!

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