Rejection? It's Not The Last Word
MANY of us have felt the sting of rejection at one time or another. Such experiences may tempt us to believe that failure is the final word. But when the touch of God's direction becomes apparent, we gain an entirely different perspective on our lives.Moses is an example. He had killed an Egyptian when he saw him beating a Hebrew. As a result, he fled into exile--cast out both by the Egyptians who had raised him and by his fellow Israelites. While in the wilderness, however, he forged a new life in which spiritual mettle began to surface. During his time in the desert, keeping his father-in-law's sheep, Moses developed the qualities--such as meekness and love, patience and wisdom--that he would need to carry out the task God would give him. When at last Moses returned to Egypt, it was to free the children of Israel from slavery. He became one of the world's greatest spiritual leaders. While the changes in our lives may not be as dramatic as those in Moses' life, willingness to listen for God's direction will enable us to reverse downward tendencies. New purpose and accomplishment replace the debris of defeat when we cultivate spiritual receptivity. And the expression of such Christlike qualities as love, dependability, and patience opens thought to God's message of hope, which begins to transform our lives. Such transformation starts with prayer and continues with purification of thought and action. Prayer plants our feet in the way God directs. As Christ Jesus taught, prayer does not begin with mulling over or enumerating our problems, but with turning to "our Father, God. As we begin to recognize our genuine identity as the children of God, prayer reveals spiritual strengths of character that we may not have perceived before. Gathering strength, instead of loss, from adversity depends on our reaction to it. Anger, fear, or hopelessness would make us victims of rejection. But when we replace the mental stumbling blocks that would hinder our spiritual growth with courage and trust, rejection can never have the final say. God's direction always points us upward. It heals wrongdoing and establishes in us a certainty that man's unbreakable relationship to God is the stability that increasingly brings purpose, value, and succes s into our endeavors. In fact, when we listen for--and follow--God's direction, we can transform our times of rejection into times of spiritual development! Speaking of the possibility of desertion even by friends, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, "When this hour of development comes, even if you cling to a sense of personal joys, spiritual Love will force you to accept what best promotes your growth. Nothing can stop our progress Godward. Indeed, the feeling of being forsaken is sometimes the pivot that turns us toward God and impels us to learn more of His nature as ever-present Love, always with us to comfort, save, and heal. The history of Christianity is filled with lives transformed, rebuffs reversed, purpose unfolded. It shows us that God's government, not rejection, is what determines the course of our lives. We can trust God, divine Love, to reveal His tender presence and sure guidance to the heart that genuinely yearns for them. And our receptive hearts can begin to reflect the richness of Paul's counsel in his second letter to the Thessalonians: "The Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ."