Sometimes I do stupid things.
(I know, I know, shocking I’m sure.)
When I do stupid things I have to deal with all the panic and fear that people are going to reject me. I’m confident that if I am annoying, people will not want to be around me. I’ll leave a party or conversation and replay what I said, evaluating how many opportunities I had to sabotage friendships and relationships.
And then I’ll go to work: sending texts, making phone calls, doing what I can to fix it.
When that doesn’t ease the anxiety, I twist God’s word into a promise that will comfort me: God will protect you from rejection. He will make sure those really love you don’t reject you.
The promise that God is working all things out for my good, the promise that He is sovereign over the hearts of men, doesn’t mean He’ll never ordain they reject me because of my failings.
I wish it did, but it doesn’t.
That’s the promise I want, but it’s not the promise I need.
If the rejection of man was truly a threat to me, then God – who has promised to protect – would give me a promise of deliverance from it.
The fact that He stays quiet tells me that the rejection of man is not something for me to fear.
When I wake up in the night and think the sweater on my chair is a serial killer, the first thing I do is look at Toby. He is sleeping soundly, (hogging most of the bed). I learn from him that despite how I feel, there is nothing to fear. He would tell me if there was a threat.
God’s promises are sleeping when it comes to human rejection. No matter how we feel when rejection from people comes, we must trust Him: there is nothing to fear.
God doesn’t promise me that people won’t reject me, but He does promise me something better:
even if they all reject and forsake me, He won’t.
And there’s no one like Him. He’s the best.
The great and glorious Gospel does not exist to give us a new grid to lay over one another in expectation. It does not exist to give us a sense of entitlement to friends who love me without hesitation and fear and who never feel thrown or annoyed by something I do.
Don’t get me wrong, I strive to be that kind of friend. I want to be the kind of woman who cannot be thrown by the sin of others; whose love is not moved by their weakness.
That will only happen when God’s promise to stay feels big enough to satisfy every fear of human rejection. Only then will I be free to love others as He has loved me.
With the failure of every friend, and with every taste of rejection I am reminded: there is only one God. Our relationship is utterly unique and precious. There is nothing I can do that leads Him to want to wash His hands of me. He never feels annoyed and over me.
There is no one like Him.
And as long as I have Him, I am safe.