See, amid my very limited memory of my childhood, I remember learning a song about eating worms. A very simple song. Ready? “Nobody likes me, everybody hates me. I’m going to eat some worms. Big, fat juicy worms….” I can’t remember the whole song, but I think you get the picture. Nobody ever did show up for my pity parties, and nobody ever requested a special order of worms. Suffice it to say responding to rejection with pity was NOT the answer – at all.
So what does this have to do with Jesus and the big LAUGH I got this morning? When I think about my day-to-day journey with Jesus, I look to Him as my number one role model. So as I learn to study and apply the Bible to my life, I consider how Jesus would respond to challenges I face. Now can you imagine what I’m getting at?
Jesus faced rejection, right? Jesus faced REJECTION – to the umpteenth degree. He was rejected by His buddies, His followers, just about everyone imaginable it seems. Most of all, when He got up on that cross to bear the sins of the world, He faced all the wrath of God – and underwent the separation from God as God’s wrath poured out for OUR sins. Rejection? Nobody human could even begin to imagine what rejection He endured through His life.
So here’s my point. And here’s where I got a big old laugh this morning. Can you picture Jesus sitting around banging His silver spoons on a high chair singing, “Nobody likes me, everybody hates me. I’m going to eat some worms”?
Do you think for one minute Jesus sat around feeling sorry for Himself for the life He led, for the rejection He bore, for His indescribable death, for all He gave up for us, for all He did for us, for all He still does for us as He sits on the right hand of God? Do you seriously think He had time to sit around and sing songs about eating worms? Heck no!
So if Jesus didn’t spend His time singing the worm song and throwing pity parties, what He did do about all that rejection? Okay, here come tears. When I write, I don’t write with a plan. Words just pour out of me, and I trust the Lord to speak through my writing to whomever He desires. So I had no clue when I just wrote that question about what Jesus did instead of singing the worm song what I would write next. And yet here it is. The answer. What Jesus did in response to all the rejection. And what Jesus taught – and teaches – me and the world around me when it comes to handling rejection.
And Jesus forgave.
Dear Father, I had no clue when I started writing this what you would do in my heart through writing it. Yet here I am, convicted, in tears, as you have brought a message to me – and conviction – I did not know I needed today. Oh Lord, you have convicted me – once again – that I have not responded to all the rejection in the way you desire. You have shown me that I have not LOVED and FORGIVEN to the degree you desire those who have – and continue – to reject me.
I ask you now, Lord, to please forgive me for responding to rejection with hurt, bitterness, pride, and so much more. Forgive me, Lord, for what I have allowed in my heart. The people who have rejected me the most don’t even know you. Lord, please empty me of all the JUNK that has blocked your love from flowing through me.
And please fill me with your Holy Ghost, equipping me to love and to forgive as you call me to do. I pray, Lord, for every human who has ever rejected me. I forgive them right now, totally, and I release them to you. I pray you would save, heal, and deliver them. I pray that you would draw them into your Kingdom, into your embrace, into Kingdom living, into a lifestyle that truly demonstrates that they are committed, devoted, followers of Jesus.
I pray that you would use me in any way you desire to show them your love. I pray that you would continue to teach me to love and to forgive as you do. I pray you would take any hardness off my heart, and that you would show me each time in the future I ever fall back into that old way of living – of singing songs about worms and not acting the way you have taught me to. I love you, Lord, with all my heart. In Jesus’ name, Amen.