This is hard. Not this assignment, but this life. It is constant gain and release. Elevation and submission. Peace and discomfort. But what did I really expect? I’ll tell you what! Good things, ground gained, freedom and joy, progression and glory. We often forget that God is ALL things and in ALL things, and using ALL things for our good. (Romans 8:28) That includes the hard things. And if God be for us and in us we should surely expect to experience ALL of Him. Right? Contrary to what we envision our futures with Christ to be, nonstop feats of glory and testimony of triumph, God desires that we be balanced. For He is balanced.
“A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, But a just weight is His delight.” Proverbs 11:1
In order to keep us balanced, God molds us using both pain and victory. I’m starting to get used to that but I don’t know if this internal tug of war will ever seem normal. (I suppose I’ll see somewhere down the road). I do desire the balance. I want need peace to balance the weight. I need rest to balance the grind. I need rejection to balance acceptance. I need these no’s to balance His yes.
Rejection from this world STINGS, I know, but ultimately, it carries a power like none other. With the freedom that comes with trusting God there has to be boundaries somewhere. I’m sure someone won’t agree with that statement, but by boundaries I do not mean shackles tying us down while heaven is lifting us up. More so buffers around us at twist and turns pushing us into the path of our destinies.
The Word says that Jesus answers “yes” to all of God’s promises to us. (2 Cor. 1:20) Apparently though, that doesn’t mean that we forever escape no’s, just that our Father leaves life the responsibility of delivering those. (As if this world doesn’t naturally love rejecting us anyway.)
My freshman year of college my English professor “Ian” said something about our first reading project that would stick with me forever.
Scene: A young class of almost young adults reads a short story that upsets or infuriates most everyone in the room fueling heated debates, controversial comments, and an unsettling tension on the table.
*Cue Ian* “It’s not the things we like but the things we dislike that teach us the most about ourselves”
*Me thinking* Teach us what?! How quickly we’re inclined to want to rip each other apart? That I really don’t like you or your little short stories?!
Relax…..I was only 16. Lol. Clearly too emotional to grasp the real lesson within our assignment and too concerned with being misunderstood to care….I completely missed it. I find comfort in knowing I was only a child but I won’t admit how many times I’ve missed opportunities to learn from discomfort since then.
He went on to explain that focusing on things that bring us peace and agree with our current way of thinking have little impact on our development. Just as quickly as we enjoy these things, we discard them and move on with our days. But the things that we detest, that make us feel hate, anger, sadness, discomfort, fear, disgust, shame , or offense are vital to our growth. The reason is simple. We cannot shrug these emotions off as easily. We cannot simply forget them or make them go away. The no’s of our lives force us to think and rethink. They provide us with opportunity to discover ourselves in an intimate way. Saying no or accepting a no requires navigation through our emotions, fears, and ideologies concerning the issue in front of us.
Let’s keep it simple. If you ask me what my favorite food is, I would tell you Pizza. If you asked me why I loved it, I would tell you “because pizza”. Hot, cheesy, you can put bacon on it. Perfection. Now if you ask me what my least favorite food is….well….first I will need to choose through an inventory of horrid (mostly green) things I may have had at some point. And when I land on Brussel sprouts (because yuck) I immediately begin to relive a moment of horror. I remember chewing and chewing until I was old and grey to try to make it disappear and I suddenly wonder why I ate it. What would have made my think that was okay? Why are other people eating them? Why does it taste so green? So “planty”? So much like something that people should not consume? I mean vegetables are okay but those??? How? Why? Never again. #Nope
We take great experiences as givens and stepping stones. The laughs are had, the plaques are hung, memories made and tucked away for viewing some other time. But losses?! We panic, we cry, we lash out, or (if it’s less traumatic) at the very least we search for understanding…or at least we should. We want to know why? Why does anyone eat Brussel sprouts?! (Just me probably.)
Disappointment is much more deeply rooted within us than joy. That stings a little to say but unfortunately its true. Heartache is just more complex. BUT!!! It also marks a moment of learning. It clings to us until we resolve it. It is not easily put away because it is so vital to our development and our purpose. Moving past hurt is so important for a believer (or anyone really). Gaining wisdom and peace from rejections and/or disappointment is necessary if we ever plan on seeing growth or seeing ourselves become something greater.
You have to remember that. I have to remember that. The pain, the tears, the lost love, the lost money, lost friends, doors closed and opportunities missed. When we’re rejected, overlooked, offended, empty, hurt disappointed, or seemingly forgotten. YOU NEED THAT!
And just as badly as you need it you also need to get over it!
Know that the deeper the scars the deeper the revelation, and the greater the growth the greater the victory.
May the no’s of life be ever with you. May they remind you to savor God’s approval. May the world’s rejection send you running into the light of God’s acceptance and the healing of self-revelation. May you meet them both with a ready heart knowing that the presence of each is meant to guide, grow, and develop you.
That they only exist to bring balance to the Lord’s never ending “yes” over your life.
20 Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God’s Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us. By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge—a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete.2 Corinthians 1:20 MSG