This week I was denied from a Cleveland volunteering position I worked really hard for, since the opportunity first opened up. There is no funding for me. It is understandable, to be sure. However, also most significantly to me, this makes a handful of potential placements I was rejected from this year.

I am convicted about this year of service. Truly. Which makes each rejection painfully confusing. If there is a plus or satisfying side to all this, each interview or placement I was denied has not passed without a sincere lesson etched on my heart.

For one, I know I often need a dose of reality when it comes to pursuing spiritual matters and I always need accountability. God is graceful to me in that he does not sugar-coat any wisdom he imparts or dim the reality of my sincere foolishness. These past five or so months I have realized in my heart that I am slowly turning to reliance on myself and worldly connexions and rather denying further dependence on a sovereign God’s provision.  That is a dear thing to realize.  Sometimes it takes a good shakedown to be able to sincerely see what is already being revealed.

For another, each of these denials offers priceless humility. It seems that learning to be humble and find a sturdier footing is a life long lesson for me. I have species of pride that are rooted and grow feverishly if they’re not checked, that was obvious from the moment I converted. So I am not surprised anymore by this particular pruning, that has lately come from all these denials.  Though to my chagrin, that doesn’t quite take the sting or confusion of rejection and I confess I am tired from this  ‘sanctification’. A genuine slice of humble pie is sour, not sweet. Humility isn’t or shouldn’t be delicious.  I understand, but on a human level, that doesn’t make the experience any less gross or tiresome.

What encourages me the most, through all of the chagrin, is the obvious peace that is fighting bitterness to win my heart. It is proof of God’s continued furnishing in my life that I see joy winning more and more in response to these circumstances. As frazzled as I am about nomming my dozenth slice of pie this summer, I’m also satisfied that through my learning humility and footing in a steadfast Lord, God is glorified, and that is the point, the only thing worth it! That is my joy and reassurance.

Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you… for my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should My name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.” — Is. 48:10,11