There really isn’t anything too special about me. I am really good at doing whatever job I am assigned. I show up, with an eagerness for excellence, and give it my all. But I am no supermodel, nor an olympian. I don’t even qualify for a management position. But I did my best and it still got me kicked out, fired, and left for dead. The world is cold, there’s no love, only rejection.
I truly gave it my all. Even when I didn’t want to, or even agree with the assignment. I did it because that’s what I’ve been called to do—serve. I am a servant. Leaving my own family to love only my master, I followed wherever they went. In and out, up and down, all around this god-forsaken desert. I helped set up, I helped tear down, mile after mile. Each new adventure adding to the legacy they let me join. Years of history, I gave them the very best parts of me. My life poured out, for what? To be left out here in non-man’s land? Rejected. Dejected. Unheard and unloved, unworthy—that’s me.
No home. No purpose. No resources. No hope.
Who could love me, a rejected servant? Bound by shame and torn apart by failure. As the wails of my dying dreams echo across the barren land, just let me die.
Rejection swallows you whole like a blood thirsty desert. Ravenous lies buzz around seeking any signs of hope, the blazing sting of broken trust burns through your resolve. Rejection is a forgotten, isolated place. Unseen. Unheard. Unloved.
Or so Hagaar thought.
There in that desert, under the last shady bush where she lay waiting to die, the agony of rejection threatened to snuff out the lives of not just one person, but an entire nation. Hagaar laid in the sand only a stones throw away from her dehydrated son and wished to die. Having been rejected by her master, Sarah, and the Father of her child, Abraham, and left in the desert to die; Hagaar and Ishmael cried.
And God heard.
These two weary souls and dried out hearts were not orating eloquent speeches or reciting countless verses. They weren’t praying according to text books, fasting before priests, or even offering burnt sacrifices. No. They were just crying raw, broken, tears.
And right in that place of rejection God heard. There in the dust and the tears He spoke this over them:
“Do not be afraid; I have heard you crying. Lift the boy up, take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. (Paraphrased from Gen. 21;17-19)
The world may have turned their back. She may have lost it all, but God never stopped listening. His love reaches to the depths of our darkest nights, His heart bursts with affection towards us. He is moved by the whimpers of our voice.
When God responded to their cries, He first comforted: “Don’t be afraid”. Second, God reminded her of His promise and then He provided for their need and strengthened their bodies.
On the other side of every rejection is a gift of renewal. A renewal of hope, a reminder of a promise, a restoration of strength. Rejection may come for all sorts of reasons, but no matter the cause–God always meets you on the other side with a gift of renewal. There under the bushes, lying in the dust was the Presence of a Love that always hears and never abandons.
His Love never fails.