A few years back I had a prayer dinner for Liam before heading off on one of our 3 week long trips for oxygen treatments. I invited only a few couples and kept it close and intimate on purpose. These were people we were close to, felt comfortable sharing intimate prayers with and knew they cared about and loved Liam like we did.
However, before the evening was over, one of the couples left. Something happened that made them feel the need to leave our home right away. They didn't explain why they were leaving. They just said they needed to go and left. I was confused, worried, and at a loss as to what was going on. They didn't even stick around to pray with us over Liam. I was so hurt. I had called them friends and they had left us. I have not had a relationship with them since. Nor have I ever been given an explanation why. They just disappeared.
I was reminded Sunday that we are never to allow our significance to be placed in the hands of men. We should never expect to get our validation from others. Jesus suffered the ultimate rejection. He knew the pain of rejection from close friends. He was betrayed. All of his disciples left him. Peter cursingly denied him.
It brings comfort to know that Jesus felt the same things we feel. He was rejected too. He understands.
But he experienced the greatest of all rejections. He was rejected over and over. He was spit on. He was hit. He was flogged. He was stabbed. He was mocked. He was crucified.
Thinking over this Sunday's sermon I was reminded God has placed every circumstance in my life to mold me and shape me into the character he wants me to have. His perfect plan allowed for the rejection I experienced in that friendship. Not to define me but to refine me.