Rejection is a tough emotion to deal with. It’s harsh, hurtful, daunting. It has an ability to poison relationships from the inside out, including our relationship with God. Lysa TerKeurst takes us to significant places in the Holy Land to help us explore the roots of rejection, the way other relationships get tainted because of a past rejection, and the truth about what it looks like to live loved. Uninvited reminds us we are destined for a love that can never be diminished, tarnished, shaken, or taken—a love that does not reject or uninvite.
From the Mount of the Beatitudes, we soak in the good news that Jesus brought to the poor in spirit, those who were in the midst of hard realities, desperate for acceptance. The message for us is clear: Don't keep being enslaved to runaway emotions and assumptions. Go on a "live loved" quest. Get to a place where your immediate reaction to off-kilter interactions with others isn't a downward spiral of wonky feelings, but stable love instead.
In Caiaphas's house, we recall Peter's betrayal of Jesus, triggered by his fear of rejection by the servant girl. He brought his emptiness into that courtyard. But what if he had brought the fullness of God? Do you walk into situations like a shepherd, looking for ways to bless others? Or do you walk in looking for ways for others to bless you? It's our choice. We can bring the fullness or the emptiness. Decide not to live uninvited, but to live in God's fullness.
From the Cave of Adullum where David hid from Saul, we discover that David's rejection by Nabal triggered an over-reaction, but Abigail intervened. She showed David how to pay Attention to the truth, and not to his history of being rejected. She got him to refocus on his real Intention, which was not to get revenge, but to take care of his men. And she moved him toward Prevention by thinking about the consequences of his actions.
In Shiloh, where Hannah prayed in desperation for a child, we can relate to desperately wanting something, and seeing the Lord blessing other women in that area. We feel set aside. Why them and not us? Our prayers answered with a "no" or "wait" can make us feel unnoticed, uninvited. But God's delay in answering Hannah's prayer was protection for a high calling, not a rejection.
Looking out at the Sea of Galilee from the cliffs of Mount Arbel, we focus on the messes that happen in Jesus' life between his miracles of healing, feeding the five thousand, and calming the storm. Jesus experienced rejection, exhaustion, and ridicule. We learn that resisting God's promises will make us forget God's presence. But resting in God's promises, and reciting God's promises, will help us remember God's presence.
Before his ultimate rejection at Golgotha, Jesus wrestled in the Garden of Gethsemane with what he knew was coming. The significance of being in an olive grove for this internal battle was not lost on him. Olive trees need both harsh east wind and refreshing west wind. Olives have to be heavily processed in order to get rid of hardness and bitterness. And olives must be pressed to produce valuable oil, and oil can then produce light.