Imagine being on a deserted island looking out toward the sea and in the distance there’s a large ship on its journey to a peaceful, joyful destination. That scene brings peace to a person until they realize they are left behind, alone, on the beach, and the pain they feel is almost unbearable. Have you ever felt that way?
So many people experience that pain of rejection whether it is from not ever being accepted from their parents; a spouse breaking the covenant of marriage; a child leaving to go out on their own toward a dark future; having terminal illness that gradually eats at every hour of their life – there are so many scenarios in one’s life that separate them from hope and joy. They ask God, “Where are you? Do you not know I’m hurting, I’m broken? I’m alone.” The ship is sailing without me.
HE KNOWS – He has felt the same pain, the same feelings of isolation and asked the same questions, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). In the Garden of Gethsemane he was in agony while praying (Luke 22:44) and he felt completely rejected by not only the disciples, but he felt that horrible void of being separated from His Father, God.
His impending knowledge of the foreseeable and predicted journey known as death was about to happen. He felt the loneliness, the rejection.
I understand the world of rejection with clarity more today than ever before and it helps to relate to those who suffer from it. It creates a deeper connection to those who experience this tormenting emotion. The one left behind in a covenant relationship, a child sitting alone on the playground, an “unpopular” student eating lunch by themselves at school, a young adult seeing all of his/her friends finding the right person to share life with (and they haven’t), the elderly feeling time go by and the fears of being alone at the end when no one comes to see them. This is reality.
Even though there’s the horrific pain of rejection which has many faces and places, there is good news!
Psalm 34 tells us that He will heal our broken hearts. Jesus very specifically addressed the underlying nature of a broken heart on several occasion; He felt rejected and experienced feelings of isolation.
Our hope for that ship to dock and take us aboard is to believe that God will heal our hearts, to believe that He has a purpose and a plan for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11), and to believe that we are not alone (Deuteronomy 31:6). He is and will be right there, sitting on the beach with us.
That is His promise and He keeps His promises!
VLM Staff - SLP
Love: A four letter word that evokes strong emotion on so many different levels. From where did it come? Where does it go? If I am angry, eventually that anger subsides. Can love subside? Does love disappear? Can love really last forever?
We are all products to some degree of love. At the very core of who we are, we were all created by love; God is love (1 John 4:8). Jeremiah 31:3 tells us that God appeared to His children and told them, “I have loved you with an everlasting love”. That being said, everlasting love does exist. Perhaps in the many shades of love, we lose sight of its meaning and misunderstand its purpose. We forget its source.
In this crazy world, love has a plethora of definitions. Love has become a motto, #love – a hash tag, and even a score in tennis! The diversity of its meaning has distracted us from the power of what it truly is. Love cannot be reduced to a fondness for something; a reflection of the attraction of two beings; roses and chocolate covered cherries.
Love is power. Love is choice. Love can change things. Love can change people. Love can change the world.
If not for love, Jesus would have lacked the motivation and strength to climb the hill carrying the cross to which he would be nailed. The thought of that fate makes me physically ill. Though he was a great man; a great God, if not for the power of love, he could not have made the journey to Calvary.
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8) This is not merely a suggestion. This is a picture of the love that keeps us alive.
When we are offended, or worse yet, deeply hurt, we find it impossible to forgive. The offender is often unaware of the offense or worse, doesn’t care! It IS IMPOSSIBLE TO FORGIVE!
Betrayal is hard to stomach. A traitor doesn’t deserve the loyalty of another. Commitment becomes as dependable as the Oklahoma weather. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO BE LOYAL!
Lies, lies, lies! Once a liar, always a liar. When trust is repeatedly broken, it shatters into a million pieces. Putting the pieces together to create a beautiful mosaic becomes a daunting task. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO TRUST!
Matthew 19:26 tells us that all things are possible with God! He will not fail us. Allow His love to fuel the determination it takes to overcome. Love is not just a cute decorative word, a salutation, or a physical attraction.
Love is a force. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:8) Love is a choice. Love is the underlying motivation to find the resolve to forgive, to commit, to trust. Love is power, it's God’s power in action.
Vine Life Staff - MN
Every day we face an immeasurable amount of pressure to be something that is more than likely unreachable. For some, the pressure is to be Super Mom/Dad with a great job, thriving social life, flawless marriage, and still be at every event for your children. For others, they feel like they are expected to be CEO of a multi-million dollar company with thousands of employees by the time they are a certain age. For young millennials, the pressure to be a huge success before you're 30 is rampant through society.
Of course, with pressure always comes the demeaning thoughts of comparison - "They are able to be at all of the ball games, recitals, plays, etc. and I can't even put dinner on the table at 6:00 every night.", "Look at their relationship, I bet they never fight.", "They're 25 and more successful than I will ever be, why even try?" These thoughts that tear us down in our own minds usually come as we are scrolling through social media, reading articles about our peers or people our age, or even while we are at a party celebrating a major accomplishment of one of our closest friends.
The problem is that we are looking at everyone's highlight reel and not seeing the huge fight that the couple got into just before the first guest of the party showed up to their house. We aren't seeing the sacrifices that the parent made to be at that ball game, and we definitely aren't hearing about all of the sleepless nights, times of doubt, or the loneliness that the CEO deals with.
I'm not saying that everyone who seems to have it pretty well off really doesn't - I am saying that we damage ourselves by allowing those thoughts to come into our head because in reality we have no idea what the people around are going through in private. I don't post about the failures, doubts, depression, or fights I have with the people closest to me on social media. Do you?
When it comes down to it, the question is not "Why can't I be more like so-and-so?" the question is "Why am I allowing the enemy to feed me lies that I am less than someone else? Am I not a chosen child of the Highest God?"
By listening to these lies of comparison not only are we nullifying the validation that comes from our personal God given journey but we are placing the stock of our identity in titles, positions, appearance, and performance instead of in what the Word of God says we are: a co-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17), fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), accepted (Romans 15:7), made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27); a chosen people, royal priesthood, God's special possession (1 Peter 2:9). There are so many amazing depictions of who we were created to be throughout God's Word. But my favorite is Child (Romans 8:16).
Child is my favorite because our identity can lie so still in that alone. Being a child means that God, our father, provides for us (Philippians 4:19), protects us (2 Thessalonians 3:3), gives us victory (1 Corinthians 15:57), and we are loved unconditionally (Psalm 52:8).
When we are sure of our true identity as a child of God, everything else falls in comparison. Take the next few weeks and commit with me to not filter our lives through the successes of others instead let’s filter everything from a stance of "I am a child of God" and see how much our perception of our lives change. I believe that as we draw closer to the identity we were born to walk in, our eyes will be opened to the many blessings around us every day and we will stop comparing ourselves to every other living person out there.
We will be praying for you as we embark on this journey together. It will be worth it.
Vine Life Staff - DP
Welcome to our new website! We have been working hard on rebranding our site in hopes of reaching larger amounts of people.
With our new website, comes our new blog - How exciting!
We are looking forward to posting these monthly blogs. Authors will be a mixture of our staff memebrs and some guest writers as well. The topics will differ but will always come back to our core mission: Providing eternal solutions for temporary problems.
Our goal is to inspire, teach, and bring hope to more people with this tool. Please help us in doing this by sharing our posts and spreading the word.
We are always open to suggestions! If there is something you would like to see on our blog, scroll to the bottom on this page and drop us a line. We want to help you through the tough times and remind you that there is always hope through Jesus Christ who has already won our battles for us (John 16:33)!
We are very expectant for all that 2017 has to offer.
We're praying blessings over you and your families!
Welcome to our blog!