“Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in Heaven.” // Luke 6:23
In high school, it was typical to begin every class with a prayer. This was a time when we were given the space to offer our intentions out loud. I was a “regular” at always speaking an intention out loud, as fifteen-year-old Sarah loved being expressive in prayer. Although I started to love it less and less after a boy in my class threatened to physically harm me if I ever shared an intention in prayer again.
I almost never speak about the years of abhorrent comments and nicknames slewed at me over my “Jesus freak” reputation in high school. Truthfully, even all these years later, it still makes me uncomfortable to admit: boys consistently put me down, calling me every version of ugly and unremarkable because I chose to be open about my faith. Years later, I would experience similar rejections, when boys from my own faith community would break up with me because my experience of the Lord was just “too much.” There were boys who confessed they would have pursued me had I not been so “religious.”
Again and again, my faith was the liability—the reason I must not be worthwhile.
I share this knowing many women have suffered from this same wound. Sister, we are never alone in the depths of our wounds, as Jesus endured the full weight of our rejection first. In fact, Jesus assures us in today’s Gospel, when others hate us, exclude us, or insult us as a result of our lives lived for Him, we are even in the company of the prophets before us (see Luke 6:23).
Jesus goes on to say, “Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in Heaven” (Luke 6:23).
There is no consolation as great as this. We are not alone, and for all of the pain we have walked through, the Lord has a rewarding eternity in mind, to hold us forever. It is from this consolation we can put out our anchors and rest in an enduring joy. His presence is the promise that carries us through this heartache.
Can you pray with this notion of rejoicing despite the suffering? How does that look in your life today?His presence is the promise that carries us through. // Sarah Erickson Click To Tweet