Did you know that one of the biggest fears people have is the fear of rejection? Rejection holds us back from trying and doing new things, starting new relationships, and living life to its fullest. I have this fear, and it can be hard to talk to people you don’t know because you fear they won’t like you, ignore you, or judge you.
I’m sure we have all felt the sting of rejection at some point in our lives. Maybe a boyfriend gave you that famous line, “it’s not you, it’s me,” and we all knew it wasn’t him he was talking about. Some of you might have been rejected by a family member, making it hard to continue going to family get-togethers or functions.
For me, it was the sting of being rejected by two of my best friends. We were the three amigos, and we went and did everything together; until we didn’t. It took me years to get over the pain of seeing them going out to eat, going on vacations, or even riding past me in a car heading out on a shopping trip. Every time I saw them together, fresh tears would flow, and the heartache would start all over again. I was even reminded of this relationship yesterday when I signed onto a website, and the security question popped up, “the name of your best friend.”
It’s been years since all of this happened, and I’ve become a stronger person who is now able to go shopping or get my nails done without having a friend to go with me. As the saying goes, “life goes on, chicks dig scars, and pain doesn’t last forever.” That quote might have come from one of my favorite football movies, but you get the idea.
This past week, I was on a training call and listened to Jamie Kern Lima speak, and she said these words that stopped me in my tracks. She said, “Rejection is God’s Protection!!!” She talked about how we aren’t supposed to have particular doors open and that even though it hurts when they close, God is protecting us from something.
The next day as I sat down to listen to a sermon I hadn’t yet had time to listen to, the pastor started talking about Joseph and how he was sold into slavery by his brothers.
18 When Joseph’s brothers saw him coming, they recognized him in the distance. As he approached, they made plans to kill him. 19 “Here comes the dreamer!” they said. 20 “Come on, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns. We can tell our father, ‘A wild animal has eaten him.’ Then we’ll see what becomes of his dreams!”
21 But when Reuben heard of their scheme, he came to Joseph’s rescue. “Let’s not kill him,” he said. 22 “Why should we shed any blood? Let’s just throw him into this empty cistern here in the wilderness. Then he’ll die without our laying a hand on him.” Reuben was secretly planning to rescue Joseph and return him to his father.
23 So when Joseph arrived, his brothers ripped off the beautiful robe he was wearing. 24 Then they grabbed him and threw him into the cistern. Now the cistern was empty; there was no water in it. 25 Then, just as they were sitting down to eat, they looked up and saw a caravan of camels in the distance coming toward them. It was a group of Ishmaelite traders taking a load of gum, balm, and aromatic resin from Gilead down to Egypt.
26 Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain by killing our brother? We’d have to cover up the crime. 27 Instead of hurting him, let’s sell him to those Ishmaelite traders. After all, he is our brother—our own flesh and blood!” And his brothers agreed. 28 So when the Ishmaelites, who were Midianite traders, came by, Joseph’s brothers pulled him out of the cistern and sold him to them for twenty pieces of silver. And the traders took him to Egypt.
Joseph had told his brothers he had a dream where they were all bowing down to him. The brothers didn’t take kindly to the idea of bowing down to their younger brother, so the plan to do him harm was hatched.
I’m sure you know the story that Joseph ended up becoming governor of Egypt, and his brothers did end up bowing down to him. When the pastor talked about this story, he said that the brothers meant to harm Joseph, but God was using them to put Joseph in the place he needed to be to become the governor. Then he said, “man’s rejection is God’s protection!”
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
My mouth gapped open, and I about fell out of my chair. I had never heard that saying before, and I heard it two days in a row. I felt like God was telling me not to take everything so personally. People might not have rejected me; God might be protecting me or maneuvering me to where I need to be.
I don’t know if this post is something you need to hear. But, if it is, I hope it helped you as much as it did me!
To God Goes The Glory!
Have A Blessed Day!