Odd Man Out

Feeling Excluded

Recently, I had that feeling that I was the odd man out.  That feeling that everything happened around you but you failed to see it and be included.  I admit that I felt a little pain in my heart, but I look to see what God is teaching me from this moment in my life, and what is to be learned. God has felt this isolation from his people.  Jeremiah 2: 1-5 tells this story,

” The word of the LORD came to me, saying,  “Go and proclaim in the

hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the LORD, “I remember the devotion of your

youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land

not sown.  Israel was holy to the LORD, the firstfruits of his harvest. All who

ate of it incurred guilt; disaster came upon them, declares the LORD.” Hear the

word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the clans of the house of Israel.

Thus says the LORD:  “What wrong did your fathers find in me that they went

far from me, and went after worthlessness, and became worthless?”

I pray to seek the devotion of my Father and not the devotion that always let me down.  God will never let me down, and this is the lesson to be learned.  I return to my relationship with my Father where I am safe and find his full love and devotion because he loved me enough to save me from myself – my sin.  “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”, Romans 5:8.

Learning from Exclusion

The empty feeling that I had during and even after this experience eats at my heart.  Why?  I continue to ask myself why did I believe and trust in man over my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Deep down I know it was not intentional, so I have to stop myself and realize something even deeper.  When have I done this to others?  Have I made someone feel excluded?  Did I put myself before others so much that I overlooked someone around me and their feelings.  I remember the words in Philippians 2: 3-4, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”  I know that my hurt is just a result of the hurt I have given others around me.  So as my own heart is aching, I realize that I must love others.  I must live the words of John 13: 34, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”

The Lesson

As I study his word and search for his lesson, I begin to wonder if this experience where I found hurt was really God showing me how to be a Christian.  How to separate myself?  How to be an example in a world that is different from me?  Sometimes standing alone is what Christians are called to do and that is ok.  “Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.”  1 Peter 4:16.  So even as I rise from this lesson stronger and I pray with eyes opened more to the world around me, may I know I have received the ultimate gift from God in a Savior, Jesus Christ.  ““For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16.

Closing Verse:  When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.  Psalm 34:17-20.

Challenge:  Cry out to the Lord when you are walking a path of troubles and the Lord will listen, teach, deliver, and love you.

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