I will never forget the letter I received from my dad years ago telling me I was not welcome at my brother’s wedding. I had been very close to my brother, and I was shocked to say the least. But the decision was not my brother’s; it was my dad’s. My dad, nearly 20 years ago, kicked me out of my family because I had broken a secret and talked about something that had happened to me as a child. My brother told me that he would have invited me to the wedding, but that he would not stand up to my dad because my dad was financing the wedding. To say I was devastated was an understatement. My dad’s decision to forbid me to attend the wedding combined with my brother’s decision not to stand up to him were nothing compared to the nearly two decades since of being rejected from my family. A single message from all this has been imprinted on my heart, along with the searing pain that accompanies such a message: “You are not welcome here.”
I know I am not alone in this. I know countless people throughout the world know what it’s like to be unwelcome. Countless people, for countless reasons, have heard this message. Countless people walk around with hearts bearing this imprint. “You are not welcome here.”
But I wonder how many people worldwide know what it’s like to be welcome in the most important, precious, priceless, magnificent, phenomenal, amazing, awesome, glorious, majestic, breathtakingly beautiful, splendid, place in the universe – in the very eternal embrace, in the very love, in the very Kingdom, in the very presence of the Lord God almighty through repentance of one’s sins and faith professed in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of the world?
I have known rejection beyond description in my life – from the very people I thought would love and accept me more than any others in the world. The pain has been chronic, excruciating, often relentless, and just about daily – day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. I have known it from immediate family, from two husbands, from close friends, from people I counted on, from people I trusted, in so many ways, on so many levels, that at times I felt I could not draw another breath of pain, of hurt, of loneliness, of torment, of anything and everything that comes from such heights and depths of rejection.
But nothing, absolutely nothing in this world comes close to the healing balm, to the indescribable, everlasting, eternal, unconditional love of the Lord God almighty.
I have been rejected beyond measure by those I have loved most.
But through my faith in Jesus Christ, I have discovered that there is simply nothing that comes close to being told by the Creator of the universe,
“You are welcome here.”
Eph 1:6 “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”
Rom 8:15 “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”
TODAY’S DEVOTION IS DEDICATED TO A VERY SPECIAL FRIEND OF MINE, A TRUE FRIEND AND SISTER IN THE LORD, WHO IS TEACHING ME ABOUT THE UNCONDITIONAL, EVERLASTING LOVE OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. I LOVE YOU PATRICIA!