Read | Psalm 41
Blessed are those who have regard for the weak;
the Lord delivers them in times of trouble.
The Lord protects and preserves them—
they are counted among the blessed in the land—
he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.
The Lord sustains them on their sickbed
and restores them from their bed of illness.
I said, “Have mercy on me, Lord;
heal me, for I have sinned against you.”
My enemies say of me in malice,
“When will he die and his name perish?”
When one of them comes to see me,
he speaks falsely, while his heart gathers slander;
then he goes out and spreads it around.
All my enemies whisper together against me;
they imagine the worst for me, saying,
“A vile disease has afflicted him;
he will never get up from the place where he lies.”
Even my close friend,
someone I trusted,
one who shared my bread,
has turned against me.
But may you have mercy on me, Lord;
raise me up, that I may repay them.
I know that you are pleased with me,
for my enemy does not triumph over me.
Because of my integrity you uphold me
and set me in your presence forever.
Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen.
Respond | Gabrielle Dearduff
Rejection is tough. What do you do when the world seems to be against you? The psalmist cries, “Even my close friend has turned against me!” It seems to be the perfect recipe for bitterness to take root; yet, this psalm surrenders rejection to the hands of God. When well-meaning people hurt us or our friends forget us, the Lord shows us mercy. When your own body or mind rejects you, the Lord protects and preserves you. When bad circumstances burden or torment us, God sustains us. We are upheld and set in God’s presence forever. No matter the kind of rejection you might face, God calls us beloved. Henri Nouwen writes, “Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the ‘Beloved.’ Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence.”
In what areas of your life have you assented to rejection as your core truth? Bring your feelings of rejection to God. God is for you. God longs to draw you close and speak truth over you.
Merciful God, when we are hopeless, restore us to your presence. Don’t give up on us! Raise us up. Soften our hearts and remind us that we are yours. Praise be to you, God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen.