I recall hearing a particular couple of people describing their experiences of marriage. One person’s spouse had passed away and the other person went through a divorce. The individual whose partner in marriage had died commented that it seemed that death was easier for them to endure as there was not the experience of rejection in their sorrow.
When a person has the idea that they are rejected it can be an experience worse than death. In fact, it is a significant enough pain that numerous people will hasten their own death to escape living with the humiliation and embarrassment of rejection.
When someone leaves us through death there is nothing about it that suggests the surviving person is evil, repulsive, unworthy of being loved and so on. Somehow it is honourable to be a widow or widower. People gather around such an individual and seek to minister comfort.
When someone is rejected, to whom can they go for the support they need in such a critical hour? The most important person in their life, the one to whom they have laid bare their soul, has spurned them. Such an attack on their inner person shakes them to the very core of their being.
Those who stand around and watch as the person is put aside are filled with questions about the guilt of the individual left behind. People speculate that the person likely deserves the rejection and that they must be guilty of serious offenses. So the one who is rejected loses the best place for support and also becomes a topic of gossip. Can anything be worse?
Our Lord experienced rejection on a remarkable scale. Who was ever so despised and rejected as He was? His own followers with whom He had walked for years deserted Him in Gethsemane at a time when He most wanted their support and help.
Even today the people of God can too easily reject someone who is hurting greatly from the loss of a spouse through divorce or separation.
Christians have the urge to lay blame in situations of which they are totally ignorant. So the deserted spouse is unable to turn to the church—which is supposed to be a spiritual hospital—because they will be rejected there as well. Perhaps you are in just such a position today. You need love and acceptance and it seems exceptionally hard to find.
Whoever has rejected you, your church, your spouse, your children—they are never as significant as acceptance with the God Who made you. How sad it is when forgiven Christians (are there any other kind?) will not embrace you even when their God and yours has received you and shall never let you go.
Be encouraged today as you strive to ignore the rejection by other sinners, and rest in the forgiving love of God.