Occasionally life offers a string of rejections and we are left wondering what we are supposed to do with them. We can’t think of anything we have said or done to offend anybody and even if we apologize it would only make things worse.
There is a best friend at work who moves to another department. Her lunch hour is the same and we proceed to the table where we always sit together. It’s good to be able to still dine with that friend but we are greeted with a very kind unwelcome. She states that if we sit together there would not be enough room for her new friends. We walk away with our lunch tray and sit alone, not only rejected but embarrassed too.
There is a musical group we belong to. The group continues to grow in numbers. Our talent as a musician becomes more polished as a result of a lot of practice. We encourage others to participate. Suddenly we are brought before a panel of officers in the group and accused of an attitude and handed a list of errands and apologies to make in order to be invited back to the group. We follow the list thoroughly and make our presentation only to be told there is another list. In other words, nothing will work out at any time. We later learn that professional musicians were being sought to replace those who were growing in order to cut an album. We are left in shock that years of hard work and encouraging others got us rejected in front of other friends. We continue to see friends from the group each week in passing. We watch them play music while we sit idly by. There are even musician friends who tell us they can no longer associate with us because they don’t want to jeopardize their position. What do we do when our friends love their instruments more than the friendship we shared for so long?
There are other situations where we pay to attend an event that includes playing in a concert and we are told by an instrumentalist that they are playing everything and there is no room. Since it’s a reputable Christian event we cannot ask for our money back. We are later told we cannot participate in a certain group or church because that same person serves making us are not welcome at that church or group. It leaves us with an empty feeling about that whole church. It hurts us instead of ministers to us to hear concerts given by the very people who rejected us.
A very good friend said once that our Lord gives us a precious Psalm that covers more than comfort at a funeral. This friend moved away many years ago but still a friend indeed. When we have a friend like this, why fret over the ones we never had. Psalm 23, especially the first three verses offer peace that passes all understanding. As we grow in grace past our own hurts we can know there are others faced with the same type rejections. They watch as we hurt. They watch while God embraces us. They watch us smile knowing our pain. They later experience our encouragement of them as they better themselves.
Some of the most precious encouragements one can give is to help another to soar in an opportunity that was taken from us. It’s heartwarming and unforgettable when someone comforts us during the loss of a loved one knowing they just lost a husband or child or both. We can do the same for others who have friends to fail or opportunities snatched away.
We may never get our friends back but were those who deserted us really our friends from the start? We may never get another opportunity to serve in that particular Christian event but is that really necessary in order to serve God? We may continue for a lifetime being in the audience while other friends make albums but God does not need a spinning plastic disc on a CD player to hear from us.
All the friends in the world do not tip the scales when compared to God’s friendship. God alone is all things in all things.
Psalm 23:1-3 New Living Translation
The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; He leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to His name.