Often, I am surprised by comments made by pastors, authors, and Bible study teachers that strike sharp and pointed, like an arrow finding a bullseye, piercing my heart. Archers celebrate those direct hits and so do I. They are a work of the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit knows me, knows you, better than we know ourselves.
“O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.” [Psalm 139:1-4 NLT]
And He uses what He knows to provide insight, to change our perspective, to give direction, and encourage.
Recently I found a few of those pointed comments in a book I am reading written by Lysa Terkeurst titled “Uninvited, Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely.” I picked it up as part of a Bible study to review for possible use at church. Also, I wanted to study the writing style and format of the book for she is a bestselling author, and her readers are women.
One point was that sometimes rejection is actually for our protection. She writes: “It is easy for us to focus on the ruin. But look for His mercy in the midst of it.”
As a writer, I have experienced quite a lot of rejection. Although I have published hundreds of articles, I have also received hundreds of rejection letters when querying editors with ideas. Many times, I have been disappointed.
At these times she suggests a little self-talk: “God, I don’t understand this situation. But I do understand Your goodness to me. I thank You for the protection that is part of this rejection even when I can’t see it. I trust You.”
Here is the Scripture Lysa gives to help us remember this concept:
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
and He delivers them.
Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
Fear the Lord, you his saints,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. NIV
A second point is that we should intentionally look for the good things that will come out of the rejection. She writes one of her “sticky statements” to help us remember: “Today’s disappointment is making room for tomorrow’s appointment.” What plans does God have for me that doesn’t include that class I want to take that costs too much? Even though the acquisition editor I met with during the She Speaks conference didn’t offer to publish my book, I can expect good things to come out of the rejection. I will watch for them.
The Holy Spirit doesn’t need a Sharpie, my tool of choice to make note of something I want to remember. He highlights points He wants to get across in a supernatural way. They seem to glow in our heart an iridescent yellow. And He finds them on the pages of the books and early morning devotionals we read, a teaching heard on the radio as we drive to work, the Sunday sermon, or during the Bible study discussion. But they come, and often in the most random ways.