Personality quizzes peg me as evenly right brain / left brain. I'm analytical and logical yet sensitive and emotional (an intense mixture).
When problems surface, I plumb the depth of emotion and then rationalize solution: what's the core, the root issue to be addressed? And because I spent five years as a cop, where analysis was performed and executed in minutes (not days and months and years), I apply what I learn with immediacy: dive on in to the emotions, then resurface and get to work on the solution; if there's misery to traverse, let's go through it, learn from it, and then get on with life.
In January I took a day away from life to pray and fast about overwhelming problems. The Lord asked me, "Are you willing to go through this suffering with Me?" I could only think, "Dear God, is there more? More than this?" But I also could not resist a personal invitation from the Lord.
In the days to follow one word became huge: Rejection. I analyzed what I was experiencing so I could work with the Lord on the solution. I began to see every hurt as a form of rejection. The past came to the forefront, and I looked anew at hurts through this lens. I understood that over and over, as I had reeled from hurts and bounced back with forgiveness, I had missed a step.
My pattern was to accept the pain of offenses and analyze only my own culpability, because I'm only responsible for my actions. I'd A-B-C: Admit my sin, Be repentant, set about Change with the Lord's empowerment. I didn't dwell much on what could be behind another's sin, because I figure that's between them and the Lord.
By no means am I saying that it was wrong to not evaluate the offense on the part of someone else. (I'll talk about that another day, perhaps on my other blog.) But when confronted with the past's path to present problems, I was forced to go back and analyze what hurt me then, what was hurting me now.
Rejection rejection REJECTION!
Whether or not it was intended, someone had communicated rejection to me in the past—and in the present. Billows of pain continued to wash over me, and I understood something.
We reject God. Over and over, in a million different ways.
When He asked, "Are you willing to go through this suffering with Me?" I thought He meant more of my own suffering. I was given the opportunity to experience His suffering. My heart felt pain that was not my own. I recognized the pain as that of God living within me. Horrible, deep, raw pain. The pain of pouring out blessing, love and sacrifice—and have it rejected.
Since my M.O. is to accept the lesson and move on, I expected to do so. God has another plan. He is allowing me to experience continued rejection, morphed into new shapes and words. Every time I think I've turned a corner, I face a new form of rejection, such as these:
From a trusted friend of many years, unfounded accusation, and admonishment to seek the Lord, prefaced with the words, "I have your best interest at heart";
From a confidant, disbelief that I've heard from the Lord at all;
From one to whom I've been a mentor, withdrawal, because I'm superfluous if I'm weak.
I see that although I've received fifty or a hundred times more messages of encouragement and hope from loved ones, a single message of rejection from a loved one devastates. I see that while rejection from those with whom we rub shoulders stings, rejection from those to whom we've opened our hearts stabs.
And I wonder if those who hurt the Lord most are not those who reject His sacrifice and refuse salvation, but those with whom He is intimate by His indwelling Holy Spirit, who accuse Him of disengagement, who doubt His Word, who seek His hand and not His face.
Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.
Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.
He also shall be my salvation,
For a hypocrite could not come before Him.
~ Job 13:15-16 (NKJV)