Rejection is something that scares us all. We all want to be accepted, loved, cared for, and known. We crave these things, and search for them so desperately throughout the world, but nothing ever seems to suffice. We think that if we meet the right person, do the right things, and go after our dreams that we will feel complete, accepted, loved, cared for, and known. But only Christ can offer us those things. We know that, and we hear it so much, but so many of us still deny Him and go after what we think is better. Everyday we have the choice to accept Him and follow His love, goodness, and peace, or deny it all and follow the world.
This is something that I have been struggling heavily with lately. I could hear God gently saying, “Stop. Come back. Slow Down…Drink from Me.” But I didn’t want to listen. I wanted to go after what I thought was right and good. I could feel my spirit begging for water, and each morning I would wake up and say no to drinking from God’s goodness. I thought that by working as much as I could and as hard as I could, I would get to where God wanted me to be. How I thought I could do that without taking a day of rest and replenishing my spirit with Him still has me confused…but thankfully God said, “Enough is enough” and broke me down. Glory to God for breaking me.
Matthew 16:24-27 is my all time favorite bible verse, and it states,
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done. “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
I mean wow. Jesus is saying to us “deny ourselves”. Deny ourselves. I don’t know about you, but that freaks me out a little. Denying myself?? That’s scary. You are the one person you know and find comfort in, and Jesus is telling you to deny yourself? That’s like denying water when your in the middle of a desert! Ohhh… I am the desert…Jesus is the water…Drinking from His goodness and love will create in me a new life.
-But really Jesus? Take up my cross and follow you? Do you know how heavy my cross is? Do you know how long I have to follow you, because that’s just really heavy and I’m not the strongest… But wait…You’ve been there though. You have actually taken up your cross, with the weight of our sins to bear, when you were barely able to stand, and then carried it all to your death!-
WOWZAH. How incredible is that…
Taking up our cross is something that we all are scared to do and terrified to deny ourselves. But Jesus showed us the goodness that comes from doing it. He shows and tells us not to be scared, frightened, fearful, or worried. He tells us exactly what we need to do and has already paved out the path for us. Sometimes we get so caught up in life that we need God to yell “STOP. Come back. Slow Down. Drink from Me.”
Live a life that is so Happily Inked by God’s love for you. Deny yourself. Take up your cross. Follow Him. Because this world is nothing compared to the pure love and goodness that is Christ.