In the final home basketball game of my high school career, the game was tight with the conference title on the line and I came up with a steal. I grabbed the ball and headed to the other end, I put up a shot that would give us the lead only to have it rejected.
Rejection - it’s never fun on the basketball court and the effects of it in life are even more painful. This hurt can come in various ways - being rejected for things you do, rejected for what you believe, rejected by those you love… Sometimes this rejection is real and others it’s created by our, or at least by my interpretations.
Let me explain - my child disobeys, so I teach and re-teach, discipline and model only to have them repeat the act of disobedience. At times it can be easy for me to feel rejected, like I’m not accomplishing anything, but I need to remember my little one is a work in progress. There may be times they flat out reject my teaching, but with God guiding and strengthening me as their Mom, I pray they won’t reject me.
Then there can be seasons of drought in friendships when my mind can play the guessing game and return to the days of junior high, “what did I do wrong?” The lack of communication can leave me feeling rejected. Thankfully God usually doesn’t let me waste much time with these worries and the phone will ring or an email will arrive to remind me life is busy, friends are friends with words…and without.
Feelings of rejection can even take place in marriage - let’s be honest, after the wedding things change and with 4 kids they really change! Time together is not easy to find; dates can quickly become a thing of the past. Though feelings can make me feel rejected that is not the case, the truth is our lives are different and time together becomes more precious.
Really there can even be times when we, or at least I, feel (there’s that word again) rejected by God. Times when we expect things to play out a certain way and they don’t. Or when something or one is taken from us, our minds can wonder, ask “Why?” and then listen to satan answer, “Because He doesn’t care.” During these moments we must remember that feelings and emotions are things that come and go, they change with circumstances, truth on the other hand is real and stable. God is truth, His love and acceptance is real.
Yet bad things will happen, we will hurt, we may even feel rejected, but we must remember Paul’s words in Romans 11:1,2, “I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject His people, whom He foreknew.” That was true then and it still is today!
So with God on our side we must not forget that when those feelings of rejection come (and they will) life really isn’t much different than a basketball game. In that game years ago, emotions were strong, fans were loud and the game was tight. When my shot was rejected I couldn’t quit, we’d been coached to persevere. And our team did just that, so much so that in the final seconds of overtime, I got a steal and a second chance and a new result - in place of rejection, two points and a victory for the Wildcats. So it is in life, we must keep playing, stay focused, listen to our Heavenly coach and trust there will be victory in the end!!