The Upper Room Devotion for Wednesday, January 31, 2024, was written by Debra Pierce of Massachusetts.
13 For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed. 17 How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 I try to count them—they are more than the sand; I come to the end —I am still with you. Psalms 139:13-18 NRSV
When I arrived home from painting class, I checked my email. My mood plummeted when I found that my devotional submission had been rejected. I reviewed the list of possible reasons for the rejection that the publisher sent. Then I read my meditation several times, trying to discern why it wasn't accepted.
For aspiring writers, rejections are discouraging. Sometimes rejected meditations cause me to doubt my God-given purpose. But still I labor at my craft. My heart's desire is to glorify God through my writing and to share my faith experiences with others. But writing is hard work. It requires discipline and commitment, as well as a teachable spirit.
Rejections, though discouraging, are also a catalyst for continued learning and practice. So when discouragement threatens to derail my efforts, I recall today's quoted verse and remember why I write: It's and expression of my love for others and for God. Whether or not my meditations are published, God is pleased with my efforts. When God weaves within us a devine purpose, God also equips us to perservere. And so as my words flow across the page, I continue to answer God's call on my life.
Pastor Anthony's Thoughts
How do we cope with disappointment? It's not easy to overcome our disappointments, especially when there is a constant reminder. Debra's reflection invites us to consider reframing our disapointments into opportunities for God to bless us and others.
Heavenly Father, help us remain committed when we face rejection. Give us teachable spirits and the will to perservere in our response to your call. Amen.