Saturday, April 14, 2012

Rejection of Affection

Do you remember how you felt the first time you were rejected?  Do you remember the heart shattering, disappointment and the feeling of inadequacy that stabbed through your chest like a wrecking ball plowing through a brick wall?  Maybe it was a friendship denied or harsh words spoken out of disdain.  Perhaps it was hard work that went not only unappreciated, but disfavored by your peers or supervisor.  Perhaps it was a loved one who minimized a heartfelt gesture.

No matter what the case may be, we have all felt the mark of hurt that rejection leaves behind.  Sometimes that pain can be debilitating to the point of causing doubt or hesitation when moving forward towards another project or gesture.
I very recently experienced a rejection that cut me to the quick.  I wasn’t expecting it at all and it took me by surprise, as did the feelings that followed.  I was hurt, angry, and felt inadequate to say the least.  Irrational thoughts began to flood my mind.  Thoughts like, he doesn’t care that I went out of my way for him.  Does he even like me anymore? 
I quickly identified my overwhelmed emotional state as a volatile situation and removed myself from the fire.  I took a shower and began to take captive every emotion and thought.  I allowed God to put things in perspective for me and then allow Him to speak to me.  In this, He showed me a piece of His heart that will forever change my outlook on people.
This is what God showed me. 
“Every time I call for my beloved and am left waiting, this is how I feel.  When my love goes her own way, I am left rejected.  I long for my love to come to me.  I long to be acknowledged!  I want my beloved to recognize me.  I desire my dear one to come to me.  But I am left here… waiting.  My heart aches for her.  I call and call for her but she desires other things.  Fame, fortune, my gifts.  I desire a relationship.  I long for intimacy!  Time spent in my arms and in my presence are the things I desire for my beloved.  Not the emptiness and hopelessness of walking alone.”
I wept in the shower as my heart was breaking.  What I had felt was only a fraction of the longing and hurt God felt over the ones He longs to pour His affections upon.  His blessings come and go.  His provision lasts for time being but they pass away and even as He continues to provide, He desires the commitment that accompanies the provision.  Just as one does not merge finances and assets with someone they do not intend to marry, God desires a relationship above all the tangible things of this world!!!
I challenge you this week to make sure that God is not rejected.  Meet Him in the secret, quiet place so that you can just be still in His presence as He pours His affections upon you!
God bless you as you continue to seek Him!

Isaiah 53:3-4
3    He is despised and rejected by men,
    A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
    And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
    He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4    Surely He has borne our griefs
    And carried our sorrows;
    Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
    Smitten by God, and afflicted.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Hoping... Expecting

I have three children.  My oldest son, Donavon, is 9 and my twins, Nathan and Maya, are 4.  I remember both pregnancies, as all mothers do, and started thinking about them a bit more today as their birthdays are approaching in July (yes, all of them).  I remember every struggle and stress such as having gestational diabetes with my first pregnancy, and high blood pressure and being big as a house with my second.  Just as much as the negative, I remember every happiness and joy such as the ultrasounds, the kicks and hiccups and the endless food!!!  I also remember the hope of what was to come.  I was holding a miracle within me!
As I thought about my children, God began to speak to me about the hope he has for us.  You see, when a woman becomes pregnant, we often say she is “expecting”.  We don’t say she is “wishing”.  As God pressed this word ‘hope’ into my heart today, I began to ask the basic questions such as “what does this word truly mean?”

The Encarta Dictionary defines ‘Hope’ as A) A confident desire: a feeling that something desirable is likely to happen; and B) To Expect or have an expectation. 
I looked through the Bible about Hope and did not fined a single thing about hoping something would happen.  In fact, everything I found about hope was about God and His hope!  The first thing about hope… You cannot have hope without Jesus!  It is impossible to have hope without Him!  1 Peter 1:21 says “…1who through Him [Jesus] believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” (emphasis added by author)  In knowing that hope is an expectation, we are expecting of God! 
I thought about my growing stomach and remembered that even though I couldn’t see my babies yet, I was sure they were about to come!  There are people who may not believe the promises you carry from God, but you, the expectant one, KNOWS!  Why?  Because they are growing inside of you!  Your passion, your potential, your promises, are growing inside of you!  You can feel them getting stronger the more you nurture them and you can even see them moving as you follow God’s directions.  However, you can’t deliver them early.  They have to come at the right time!
Next, hope (expectation) inspires faith.  When my doctor told us we were going to have a baby, that was our expectation.  So, in faith, we began to prepare for the baby(ies) we were hoping to deliver in less than nine months.  In faith, we got car seats, clothes, diapers, bassinettes, blankets, etc.  We didn’t have the babies in our arms or even see them yet.  But you don’t prepare for something that you don’t expect.
If you have a promise from God, are you preparing your hearts for it to come to pass?  Are you preparing your lives to walk into the promises God has given you?  Are you hoping with expectation, or dreamily wishing with no expectation whatsoever?
Before you begin this new week, I challenge you to look at your lives.  Are you expecting God’s promises or are you standing sterile, wishing something would happen? 
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  Faith is the tangible part of the expectation.  It takes the internal expectation and makes an external preparation!  Even though you can’t see it yet, you are “banking” on it.
Consider this your personal check from God.  You don’t have the cash yet but when someone hands you a check, you don’t throw it away and say, well that’s not money!  NO!  You go to the bank and cash it in!  It is expected money!  Faith is your check to Hope.  It is the evidence of the unseen promise.

My prayer is that you find the hope that only Jesus can give and allow it to cultivate faith in you!  You don’t have to live life without an expectation or hope!  There is love… There is hope!
God bless you!