Friday, February 14, 2014

Rejected? ........................... Parables 080

“Nobody’s Child” is a movie portraying the life of a woman who was admitted to a mental institution at 16 and spent most of the following 20 years there.

Her illness? Childhood rejection. Even remote reminders of her past caused her extreme anxiety. Sometimes she became violent in her fear. One incident sent her into two years of silent withdrawal.

Finally, one doctor recognized the emotional need of this woman and began to express loving concern for her as a individual. She encouraged her to turn from her fears and develop some life skills. “Nobody’s Child” responded to that love and eventually moved into her own apartment, earned a college degree, and reached the potential that her doctor saw in her. It was a very dramatic true story.

Of course, not everyone who suffers becomes movie material. Sometimes there is no one that cares about their needs. Sometimes they fail to respond to anyone who does try to help. Whatever the reasons, all stories do no have a happy ending.

But everyone understands rejection. Whether a person is a “different” child in school, abandoned by someone they hoped would love them, or just turned away when there was a desire to participate - rejection hurts.

The Psalmist knew about rejection too. He says “When my father and mother forsake me...” Yet he found there is One who never turns anyone away. “...then the Lord will take me up” (Psalm 27:10).

The Lord Himself offers love. Even if there is no one to pick up the pieces, such as the doctor in the movie, God is always there. His love goes far beyond that of the most caring person. In fact, The Lord’s love never gives up.

He says, “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3). He said this to a nation who resisted Him, who fell into idolatry, and turned their back on Him. But in His love, He continued to draw them, wanting to restore them to a love-relationship with Himself.

His love extends beyond those ancient nations to us. Even though all mankind has “sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”, “God has demonstrated His love toward us...” He knows we can not and will not seek restoration so He made the first move and “...while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Our sin is an affront to His holiness and separates us from Him, but His Son was willing to pay the full penalty for our sin. The cross is God’s message that says, “There... I love you.”

We need to recognize that our “illness” is sin. We cannot cure it ourselves, or even demand a cure. We do not deserve it. The mercy and grace of God, through the sacrifice of His Son, provides forgiveness and cleansing, the cure we need.
God will not accept into His presence people who are defiled and unholy, so we also need righteousness. This we do not have but because of God’s love, that is also provided in Christ.

Just as the woman in the movie could not make herself well and then go to the doctor, we cannot make our lives acceptable and then go to the Savior. He saves, we do not. And when He does, we are forgiven and transformed, given grace to become all we can be, with hope for a “happy ever after” when this life is over.

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