“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58, NASB
She looked at me with pity as tears gathered in my eyes. Despite the editor’s kind nature, her rejection of my manuscript crushed me. And I couldn’t stop the emotion that trickled down my face.
Just one year prior, the same editor told me to complete my manuscript and bring it to her at the next conference. I followed her instruction by teaching a ladies’ Sunday school class and writing one lesson per week over an eight-month period. Satisfied with the final product, I presented my entire “book” printed on linen paper.
Come to find out, this editor’s company recently had published a Bible study on the book of Esther. They didn’t need another one. Though I understood her predicament, disappointment surged through my spirit.
Our written words form a bridge between our hearts and our readers. They enable us to communicate thoughts, feelings, imaginations, and more. We pour hours of time and creativity into our projects, which become extensions of our inner selves. Sometimes our material is received favorably while at other times it’s turned down for various reasons. Either way, we feel the impact.
How would the Lord have us respond to positive feedback? With humility. Gratitude. And joy. He’s opening another door for us to glorify Him.
On the other hand, how does God desire us to receive rejection? With humility. Gratitude. And hope. He’s closing a door … for now. In His sovereignty and wisdom, He might open that door later, so we must persevere. Or, He’ll close it completely, re-directing our steps. The Lord will show us the way.
I continue to write even though I didn’t receive the answer I longed for almost 12 years ago. That experience and many others along the way have shaped me. I’ve learned the value of persevering through rejection, pressing forward, and pursuing opportunities as God opens doors. While my journey doesn’t appear as I once envisioned, it looks exactly like the Lord planned.