Have you been in this place? Heart beating in your throat, trembling with emotion. The mind says angry but the heart screams hurt. When the hurt is doled out and leaves our jaw on the floor. But why are we so surprised, at this heart sinking hurt? To love, to pursue in friendship is to open our chests and ask for it, right?, because sin spares no one and no one is without sin. What does God have for me in these wakes of rejection? How does he want to heal the sorrow of not being liked or wanted or understood? Run away and shut the door, lock it, that's what I want to do, let the tears flow, wallow in self pity, vow to hold that person at arms length from now on. But then I see Him in the corner, looking at me with an ache of understanding, He walks slowly towards me, arms open, head slightly to one side. He reaches his hand to my downcast chin and lifts my face to His and says, "sweet daughter, I know how this feels, to be rejected by those you love. I know what it is to be misunderstood, despised, to be hated. And I was without sin. But I kept on loving, I kept on being, I kept on doing all the Father asked of me because of my great love for YOU!" And then my heart hears it, the answer to my hurt. Because of my great love for HIM, because I have been forgiven much, I must love much, forgive much, ask for forgiveness even when it doesn't seem fair. Are boundaries really Biblical or have we culturally rationalized them to be good for our own protection? What if loving like Christ means expecting the hurt? What if the best way to show Him to the world is to respond to hurt in a way that defies logic? In a way that proves it is NOTHING in us, but all HIM in us. Oh this is a struggle, our pride hates this, but I grasp His hand and He takes the first step towards the door. He moves my hand to unlock the door. He walks out first and turns to me and says, "My power will be made perfect in your weakness." And so I walk out, take a deep breath, and choose to love more, forgive again, to let His light shine through this cracked and broken and ugly vessel. And if I run into that room again, I trust He will always walk me back out, because it is fire that refines, not feathers.
2 Corinthians 4:7-8 "But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair."
Isaiah 53:3-4 "He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted."