“I remember my affliction. . . the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope. Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.”- Lamentations 3:19-22
Anne Graham Lotz begins Chapter 8 (“Rejected by them: But Not by Him”) of Wounded by God’s People by expanding on the story of her husband’s church wounding that was discussed at the beginning of the book. Anne adds that her husband’s rejection created more intense pain due to an earlier decision by the board of deacons to close the doors of a Bible class Anne had taught there for 9 years. Even her efforts at reconciliation were rebuffed.
Walking away from their church home of fifteen years, Anne and her husband knew that God was walking with them. Their tears were on Jesus’ face as He bore their shame and disgrace. For Jesus also was rejected by His own people.
While flashbacks of painful memories involved in our ministry downsizing or vocation loss my cause us to question God’s presence, we affirm His faithfulness as we are able to point to significant times when He has been with us in our devastation. At such a time, Anne notes, we have a choice. We can worship and trust the God who sees us, or we can create a god that will accommodate our point of view.
Today’s question: What has been most effective in helping you differentiate between being rejected by God’s people versus being rejected by God? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Embrace the darkness”