God, why am I feeling this way — feeling left out? Have you ever asked the question?
Better yet, have you ever used a cookie cutter?
They’re related. Trust me. Read along, and you’ll see.
Each December during my younger years, Mom whipped up a batch of sugar cookie dough. Man, she made THE BEST Christmas cookies! I suspect the touch of lemon somehow worked magic.
We rolled out a clump of dough, positioned cookie cutters “just right”–to fit as many as possible in one roll-out (because who needs extra work, right?!), then we baked the little guys till their edges cried, “Crisp!” Once those bits of sweetness cooled, we added the sugary wonderland of colored icing and dancing sprinkles.
I popped one or two–okay, a FEW!–in my mouth. (And that’s probably why my weight mocks me today.) A treat like that dances in the mouth.
The Hurt of Being Left Out: The Other Day
I thought about cookies and those cookie cutters just the other day. But thoughts swirling around them didn’t include the scrumptious or delectable. (Does a 9-year old call anything “delectable”? Probably not, but you get the picture.) No, it carried a tinge of hurt.
In a situation recently, I felt like a glob of dough, small and pitiful, staring up at the sharp edges of a giant, mean ‘ole cookie cutter. The metal baking gadget eyed me, I’m certain. (It probably even grunted and released puffs of smoke from its nostrils…or maybe that’s an imagination simply going wild.) Then, it set its borders–fencing in a select piece, calling me it its own–then the blasted thing press downward, slicing straight through…
I’d been left out.
Coralled and cut by the sharp edges of, What about me? Am I not important enough?
It’s never fun when the switch flips from “you” to “not you.” It feels as though we’ve been cut straight out of the picture, doesn’t it?
And when we’ve given our time, effort, money, emotions–whatever–oh, friend…
Call it a form of rejection. Of being tossed aside, unwanted, maybe even–or simply–forgotten.
Whatever its name, it hurts. It hurts the ego. It hurts the heart. It hurts relationships. And sometimes, it hurts faith.
As I sat in the chair, crossing my legs, then uncrossing them again, shifting from one hip to the other, I whimpered a silent cry for help.
“Lord, why am I feeling this way?”
“Left out” and “not important enough” caught me off-guard. Wisdom from God, a verse I’ve studied in detail–and how “funny” its imminent need–assured those emotions proved mine to corral.
For goodness sake, I knew the person didn’t leave me out intentionally. Even if they had, where was my hope? Did I really need their assurance or reassurance for my security? Why was this misunderstanding such a big batch of internal hoopla?
My head knew I shouldn’t get upset. But in all honesty, I wrestled.
Emotions cut and clawed in my heart, assuring a sprint elsewhere, anger boiling over, a grudge held like a big batch of sucked in air, or an offer of a solid slice of silent treatment–whether in small form or large fashion–presented safe escape.
But none did. God’s Word assures differently.
This place in which we feel corralled and cut straight to the core is not a foothold for rejection–it doesn’t have to be, at least. The choice remains ours. What will we do with these emotions and feelings that flare?
Call it opportunity, a heart issue God desires to heal.
Consider it maturity.
As we flex muscles of faith versus feelings, we find healing. We find God.
When rejection rears, start by simply asking, “God, why am I feeling this way?”
Then search Him, rest in Him, and wait on Him until our Father makes clear the answer.
Because by golly, when we feel left out, we’re setting hope in people–not man.
As the words Edward Mote scribbled, my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
(For a little soothing music, click here.)
He is our meter, our cookie cutter of the scrumptious kind. He is the heavenly ever after.
Friend, a life wrapped in rejection ain’t our gig. God deemed us accepted.
So refuse offense, okay?
Hold forgiveness close.
And let faith lead the way.
So if you’re feeling left out….
Start with God, not the gut. Journey with truth, not feelings running rampant.
Remember, when you are drawn, you are not cut away. You may be set apart, but in Christ, you, my friend, are accepted.
Halloween hits this week.
I loved Halloween as a kid because of the candy. I didn’t trust it as an adult. Three years ago it became a bad taste in my mouth. After all, who desires to mark a loved one’s death date on a day of ghouls and goblins? But love conquers all. And my dad’s assurance to me of his salvation brought hope that neither death or Halloween could hinder.
So it’s Halloween, and I’d love to shed the light on hope.
If you died tonight, would you land in heaven or hell? Why?
Won’t you allow Jesus to save you from your sins today? What better anniversary? He’s the key to heaven, to an eternity of love and goodness. What better way to spend Halloween then by spreading light amid the darkness?
If He’s drawing you, if life isn’t going well, won’t you come close? If something seems missing, won’t you allow Him to fill it? Scroll to the “Salvation” graphic at the bottom of this page. (I cringe a bit typing that, but since we’re not face-to-face…) Offer God your prayer if you’re ready of heaven’s assurance, if you’d like eternal forgiveness for your sins. One name is your key: Jesus.
Happy fall, y’all.