“Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior.” (Ps 27:9 NIV)
We tend at times to think that our Heavenly Father will treat us the same way we are treated by our fellow human beings. You know what I mean! And the moment we begin to feel this way, it is time to remember His promise: “Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.” (Ps 27:10 NIV)
We were wandering though Brienz, a beautiful little village in Switzerland, renowned for its handmade wooden objects. We wanted to purchase a small object as a souvenir, and we entered a promising-looking store.
There were literally thousands of small wooden trinkets on the shelves, but there were no prices listed anywhere that we could see. I assumed the price would be indicated on the bottom of the wooden keepsakes, and sure enough, they were. But I had barely checked the price on one item when the sales lade came stomping towards me: “Can I help you with something?”
As her tone was far from encouraging, my response was a bit hesitant: “I was just checking the price on this item.”
She looked at me suspiciously: “You look with your eyes, not with your hands! Do you understand?”
I was about to wonder aloud how I could find the prices of the items, when the door to long ago forgotten memories flew open. I was suddenly back in elementary school, being teased because I wore heavy glasses and spoke Dutch with a French accent. I have often felt unwanted, especially when I was younger. And this has sharply influenced my actions to the point that I used to be scared to death to make friends, because I was pretty sure that sooner or later they, too, would at some point make fun of me.
This is why when a girl once told me matter-of-factly that she was interested in me, I was shocked. I was twelve years old at the time, and whatever she meant by “interested”, I was sure it would lead to rejection. I wanted no part of that, and I ran away, never to speak to that girl again.
My only friends at school were those who were also considered “rejects” and “undesirables”. There was nothing wrong with their behaviour, but they all had some kind of a physical or mental handicap, and “others” didn’t consider them to be “cool”. I still remember visiting one of my best friends to the hospital. He had a rare disease, and it seems I was the only one who came to visit him . . .
Suddenly I snapped out of my reverie to find myself still in that store. I had to get out, and I did, heading straight for the nearby lake. There God’s presence quickly filled me up, reviving me of those damaging memories. At least He always welcomes me with open arms! It would be a great day after all!
May we always remember that when we feel unwanted, we can always turn to our Heavenly Daddy. He will never reject us. Instead, He will always welcome us with open arms. May all churches learn to love like God does.
“I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matt 25:40 NIV)
Forsaken and forlorn?
The King of Kings has prepared a special banquet for you. Will you come to Him?
(To access the entire “Devotions From the Psalms” devotional series, please click here.)