Rejection is a negative word which causes pain. When a friend avoids you, it hurts. One feels rejected. The pain is deeper when the friend or relative meant the world to you. Today, let’s look at a few rejection stories from the Scriptures.
Acts of Apostles, chapter 27 describe events that took place when the Apostle Paul was taken as a prisoner to Rome for his trial. As a result of a series of miscalculations, the ship was caught in a huge storm called the Northeaster. Paul was one among the 276 prisoners, along with their guards and other passengers, who were stuck in the middle of the ocean. They lost all hope of living. Unlike today, the navigation technology was very poor and no SOS available. They lost their hope to be saved. Ship workers decided that if something was not done immediately, everyone’s going to sink. They also realized that they cannot save everyone, so they secretly devised a plan to save themselves and escape by means of lifeboats, abandoning everyone else behind.
“The terrible storm raged for many days, blotting out the sun and the stars, until at last all hope was gone.
Then the sailors tried to abandon the ship; they lowered the lifeboat as though they were going to put out anchors from the front of the ship.”
Acts of the Apostles 27:20, 30 NLT
This is one kind of rejection. People who wish to move forward, after becoming aware of factors that hinder their progress, try to avoid things/ people that slow them down. It is of course painful, but at the same time understandable as they are doing it because they may have no choice. They may be the sole bread winner/ single parent/ taking care of a sick parent or child/ who knows what unfortunate battle each one is fighting.
This is one that many of us have encountered at some point in life within our friend circles and relatives. Yes, it hurts. But if the rejected person understands the reason for rejection, it may be bearable.
There is a second kind of rejection that we can see in the same chapter. This time, after the 14 days of the disastrous ordeal, the ship approaches the shores of the Island of Malta. Now the guards are discussing among themselves to kill all the 276 prisoners so that none of the prisoners will escape when they reach the shore!
“The soldiers wanted to kill the prisoners to make sure they didn’t swim ashore and escape.”
Acts of the Apostles 27:42 NLT
This idea sounds ridiculous. Every passenger in the ship, be it prisoner or guard or crew, finally breathing in the first sigh of relief because they just escaped death, and at the first ray of hope, some “privileged” officials decide to kill all the “under privileged” people ?! Why? So that they can secure their jobs! This kind of rejection is not understandable as the other case of rejection I mentioned earlier. Sadly, yes. There are these kinds of people in this world.
There is one more kind of rejection which hurts the most. It is when your own, rejects you. Joseph and David are the best examples for this kind of rejection.
Joseph was the son his father loved the most. This was the only reason for envy from his other brothers. This envy grew upto a point where his brothers resorted to selling Joseph as a slave to the Midianites, who then sold him to the Egyptians.
David, was completely ignored and forgotten by his family and was sent to the forest to take care of sheep. When the family had a great festival at home, where the high priest Samuel himself came to Jesse’s house (father of David), they didn’t even bother to bring David home.
Imagine the immense pain these individuals went through! Joseph ended up in prison for 13 years completely forgotten and rejected by everyone. He was dead to his family. David spent countless years in the wilderness because no one cared about him. Life was never easy for them and they clearly lived the pain of rejection.
But, when those who had to remember you forgets, God remembers you.
Even though Joseph was rejected for 13 years, God changed the course of events and made him the Prime Minister of Egypt. David, after being rejected for many years, God made him the greatest King of Israel!
Rejection is the reason for most suicides. Suicide is not the answer for rejection. But patiently wait because God is not done with you!
The coal, which is WORTHLESS before the eyes of people becomes a PRICELESS diamond over time. Reason – exposure to high pressure and heat.
Remember this when you’re rejected, you’re not the first one to go through what you’re going through. Yes, it’s very painful. But don’t lose hope. For God is not done with you yet, he’s just beginning. So put your trust and hope in God and be patient, God’s making a priceless result out of you!
“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.””
Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT
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