Thursday, 7 December 2017

Thirsty: Isaiah 55

Transcript of a talk I did at St George's Church, Leeds in 2015.

Thirsty – Isaiah 55

Thanks for having me, it’s a pleasure to be here and I’m really excited to be concluding this mini series in Isaiah tonight.  Over the past few weeks Dan and Chris have been unpacking the middle section of Isaiah.  We’ve heard the call to dream big in Isaiah 40, that we don’t need to fear in Isaiah 43 because we’ve been redeemed and last week in Isaiah 52-53 that the suffering servant identifies with us and has dealt with sin.

These are all amazing and incredible things.  And yet in spite of all this knowledge we live in a world of dissatisfaction.  Anyone with small children knows the natural dissatisfaction that we all find within us.  I have three children aged 5 and under and one of the beautiful things about kids is that they let you know exactly what they’re feeling – especially when they’re dissatisfied.  We have had full on tears, stamping of the feet, lying on the floor dissatisfaction many a time – even in public and your child is lying on the supermarket floor (yep, been there).  Most recently it was because Daddy ate the last jaffa cake.  Even though there was another packet of jaffa cakes, that was no good.  Because they’re not the same as the one Daddy ate.

Unfortunately, dissatisfaction doesn’t seem to be something we grow out of.  Rather alarmingly, if not surprisingly, statistics say that unhappy employees outnumber happy ones by two to one worldwide.  It has been evident on my facebook feed recently that many are dissatisfied with the political arena at the moment.  Another survey found that when looking in a mirror, up to 8 out of 10 women will be dissatisfied with their reflection and more than half may see a distorted image (obviously dissatisfaction with image is not only a female issue.)  In a worldwide Global Attitude Survey last year only 6 out of 44 nations were satisfied with what was going on in their country.  Government, Economy, Jobs, Body image, Relationships, even the Church… people are dissatisfied.

So how is it possible that in a place of so much affluence, so much goodness in our world that at times, there is still this unrest, something inside of you that says ‘there must be more than this.  This… whatever this life thing is… this is not enough.’  There’s a restlessness, a sense of not quite being complete, that something is lacking.  Dissatisfaction occurs when the thing we’re looking to satisfy us falls short of our expectations.  Could it be, that the reason our world is dissatisfied is that we’re looking in the wrong place for our satisfaction?

Well I feel like we’re in for a treat tonight because we’ll be reading Isaiah 55.  This is my all time favourite chapter in the Bible so I apologise if my enthusiasm is a little too much for some of you, but it’s amazing.  For those facing dissatisfaction, Isaiah 55 has the answer.  Please turn with me to page 704 in the Church bibles.  We’ll be starting at verse 1 but first let’s pray:

God, thank you for your word.  Thank you that it brings life and transformation, healing and freedom.  Holy Spirit would you bring revelation tonight and help us as we unpack this chapter.  Amen.

So, verse 1:
“Come, all you who are thirsty,
    come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
    come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
    and your labour on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
    and you will delight in the richest of fare.
Give ear and come to me;
    listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
    my faithful love promised to David.
See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
    a ruler and commander of the peoples.
Surely you will summon nations you know not,
    and nations you do not know will come running to you,
because of the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel,
    for he has endowed you with splendour.”
Seek the Lord while he may be found;
    call on him while he is near.
Let the wicked forsake their ways
    and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
    and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
    come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
    without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
    so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy
    and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
    will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
    will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thorn-bush will grow the juniper,
    and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the Lord’s renown,
    for an everlasting sign,
    that will endure forever.”

Isn’t that incredible?  Don’t you just love the word of God?  

This chapter in Isaiah doesn’t mess around.  It gets straight to the point.  “Is anyone thirsty?”  “Does anyone have need?”  Yes.  Yes we are all thirsty.  

First of all, looking at verses 1 and 2, we are all thirsty for something that satisfies.  

“Come, all you who are thirsty,
    come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
    come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
    and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
    and you will delight in the richest of fare. 

The question here in verse 2 is why spend your money on food that does not give strength?  Why invest in something that doesn’t satisfy?  This is a bit like saying “why eat that entire chocolate bar when it does not give strength?”  Well we do it because in the moment we think “ahh, chocolate will satisfy”.  But I’m telling you people – shortlived.  Shortlived satisfaction is not cool.  Moment on the lips, lifetime on the hips.   You know it.

The Israelites are being faced with a choice – life under Babylonian authority – food that is expensive, grudging and unsatisfying or having their thirst met by God.  The God who is inviting them to a free banquet.  Seems obvious right?

In the original text, the first word in verse 1 is actually translated as ‘Ho!’  It’s like, “oi”, “listen up”, “pay attention”.  It’s like a marketplace vendor shouting to get your attention.  But what’s on offer is no good.  What’s on offer is a cheap, imitation product that doesn’t last and is a fake.  Do you ever feel that what the world is offering you is like that?  A cheap imitation that promises satisfaction and yet fails to deliver lasting fulfilment.  Maybe relationships, jobs, finances, children, good grades, popularity, health… the world says “oi, come buy… this will satisfy you”.  So we strive, we work hard to buy the thing, to pursue the golden relationship only to find that actually no, the thing has broken, that person isn’t perfect, they’re just a person and they can’t fulfil all my needs.  

In contrast to this constant play for attention pulling us in all different directions and this in your face “oi”, God is urging ‘come’.  Come… come.  

Dan is forever telling me that I say the same thing three times.  For example in response to Dan asking me what’s up?  I might say, “I’m tired, I’m so worn out and I’m just exhausted…” maybe my long-winded approach to communication is because actually I am totally in tune with the way the Hebrews communicated (it’s nothing to do with the fact I’m a woman, obviously!)  I like to give emphasis to what I’m saying, I like to drive home a point, I like to talk (!) I want to make sure that Dan has really heard “I’m tired”.  In this chapter we are told four times before we even get past verse 1 to ‘come’.  I think someone is trying to get our attention.  Someone, is trying to drive home a message.

So for the Israelites, they were being urged to choose ‘what is good’ - lavish and abundant milk and wine, the finest food on offer at a great banquet rather than remain under the Babylonian authority.  The feast that God is laying out for the Israelites will satisfy, it is good.

So firstly, we thirst for something that satisfies.  We thirst for satisfaction.  Secondly, verses 3-5 unpick the thirst for significance - a significant and glorious life.  

“Come [there it is again] to me with your ears wide open.
    Listen, and you will find life.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you.
    I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David.
See how I used him to display my power among the peoples.
    I made him a leader among the nations.
You also will command nations you do not know,
    and peoples unknown to you will come running to obey,
because I, the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, have made you glorious.”

So here, Isaiah departs from the imagery of food and speaks of a fidelity promise.  David was the embodiment of what a glorious Israel would be.  But here, Isaiah is saying that God’s promises to David of a meaningful and significant life were not just for him.  They were being enlarged and extended for the whole of the Israelite community.  As a collective, they too will have great authority and power.  They too will have an everlasting covenant and unfailing love from the glorious God who in turn has made them glorious.  

The call to ‘come’ continues.  Come away from submissiveness to Babylon that yields nothing of well-being and instead choose to have your thirst for significance met in a new future with God.  A powerful, glorious and significant life.

Come away from the call to earn more money, to have the most friends, to gain respect from your colleagues, to be super-mum, to be recognised and well-thought of.  Those things aren’t bad in and of themselves, but don’t strive for significance in the wrong place.  We are all thirsty for significance.  We want to be recognised, we want to know that our lives have value, and that we can make an impact.  

I know personally, that all too often I’m caught up in the lie that if my house is clean and clutter free, the children are eating food cooked from scratch including vegetables, my weight is below a certain number, I’ve been a ‘good wife’, the commissions have been painted, the talk is written, the exercise completed… that then I will be satisfied.  I get caught up in the lie that by attempting to be supermum then I will feel at peace, I will be noticed, I will have achieved something of value.  I won’t be overlooked, I will be significant.  That is a lie.

We are all thirsty for satisfaction and we are all thirsty for significance.
And God says he’ll meet those thirsts.

How?  Let’s jump down to verses 10 to 13:

“The rain and snow come down from the heavens
and stay on the ground to water the earth.
They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the Farmer
and bread for the hungry.
It is the same with my word.
I send it out, and it always produces fruit.  
It will accomplish all I want it to and
it will prosper everywhere I send it.
You will live in joy and peace.
The mountains and hills will burst into song,
and the trees of the field will clap their hands!
Where once there were thorns, cypress trees
will grow;
Where nettles grew, myrtles will sprout up.
These events will bring great honour to the Lord’s name;
They will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.”

God is going to meet our thirst by his Word.

Firstly, God is going to meet our needs for satisfaction and significance in his word of promise.  We’ve already heard in this series that Isaiah 40:8 says that “the word of our God stands forever”.  It can be trusted, God’s word is faithful.  His promise is sure.  

God’s word is about communication.  It’s about God getting his message from him to us.  And his message is good news.  His message is life.   

Hold up bible

God’s word is “a lamp to guide our feet and a light for our path (Ps 119:105)”, it gives us “life” (Ps 119:37).  “It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.  God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work” (2 Ti 3:17).  God’s word gives us “hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for his promises to be fulfilled” (Ro 15:4).  The word of God “is alive and powerful.  Sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow.  It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires” (Heb 4:12).  His word “revives the soul”, makes the simple wise, brings joy to the heart.  God’s word is clear and gives insight for living. (Ps 19:7-11)  His words will never disappear (Mt 24:35). His word continues to work in those who believe (1 Thess 2:13).  They bring life and healing (Prov 4:22) and the word of the Lord holds true (Ps 33:4/Prov 30:5).  The word of our God stands forever (Is 40:8)!!

Isn’t God’s word amazing?  Don’t you just love it?  God’s word can totally satisfy.  

When the truth in these pages enter our world and bring revelation of who we are it brings satisfaction and significance.  When the truth of God’s word hits my life the striving to be supermum can stop.  The desire to be noticed by others, to be commended and celebrated falls away because actually, I am reminded that the Creator of the universe knows my name, I am reminded that He sees me, thinks I’m significant and of value.  When I take time to read His word I am reminded that he has a part for me to play and that I am already significant, I don’t need to go looking elsewhere to meet that thirst.    

So what of this rain and snow business?  

Isaiah was talking to the Israelites who were used to pretty dry conditions and they understood agriculture.  So when Isaiah uses the metaphor of rain and snow coming from the heavens in verse 10 the Israelites get the message loud and clear.

In verse 10, the earth is not the life giver.  The rain and the snow come from heaven.  It is a gift from God.  A gift that brings moisture.  When the earth does not receive moisture it shrivels up and cannot produce seeds or food.  The rain and snow bring transformation and they bring life – provision of crops that will bud and flourish.  Because of the provision of rain and snow, because of this gift, a physical need is satisfied and there is hope and there is new life.

Also, the rain and the snow are tangible.  They are real forceful powers that the Israelites can see the effects of – growth, life, future.  God’s word is like this.  Snow and rain are not ineffective.  God’s word isn’t just empty airy fairy religious chit-chat.  It is reliable, steadfast, dependable truth.  It will produce what it was sent out to do!  

It is exactly because of this that my art business (if you like) is called ‘fiftyfive11art’.  The name comes from verse 11 in this chapter.  All the paintings I create or am commissioned to do have scripture on… because God’s word is powerful and will accomplish what God intends for it.  I don’t want my paintings to be about me… I want them to be something ‘for the Lord’s renown’ (verse 13) that helps others to look to, and take delight, in God.

So God’s word is trustworthy.  God’s promises can be relied on.  God meets our thirst for satisfaction and significance in his word.  But.  It’s not just in His written word.

God meets our thirst for satisfaction and significance in Jesus.  John 1:1 tells us that one of Jesus’ names is “the word of God”.  

“It is the same with my word.
I send it out and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to
and it will prosper everywhere I send it.”

Just as the rain and the snow are sent from heaven.  So too is the Word.  Jesus, sent, from heaven, come to water the earth.  To bring provision, to bring life.  Rain and snow is the difference between life and death for the earth.  Jesus is the difference between life and death for the soul.  All who are thirsty.  Come.  Jesus quenches our thirst and said to the woman at the well, and says to us too “whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst again…” (John 4:14).

The rain and the snow don’t return to heaven without fulfilling the purpose God intends for them.  Equally, Jesus did not return to heaven empty handed.  He came to earth and accomplished what God desired.  He came, hung on a cross, died a cruel death and rose again to achieve the purpose God intended – the possibility of new life for you and me.  The possibility of a glorious life.  The possibility of a satisfied and significant life.  

According to the dictionary, (I do love a good definition) we know we are thirsty when we have an “uncomfortable feeling” or “a very great need”.  

SO, I have a question for you tonight.  Do you know that you’re thirsty?  

One of the commentaries that I read on this passage put it like this –

“My brother, do you know what it is that you want?
It is God. Nothing else, nothing less… Understand your thirst. Interpret your desires aright. Open your eyes to your need; and be sure of this, that mountains of money and the clearest insight into intellectual problems, and fame, and love, and wife, and children, and a happy home, and abundance of all things that you can desire, will leave a central aching emptiness that nothing and no person but God can ever fill.”
When we discover our thirst can be met in Jesus, the word of God, we start to see the following:

You will live in joy and peace – verse 12.  Or the message translation puts it like this – “You’ll be led into a whole and complete life.”  In the NLT Jesus says in John 10:10 that he has come to give us a “rich and satisfying life”… life to the full, or in the message Jesus came to give us a life “better than we ever dreamed of”.

Dan touched on the Exodus language in Isaiah a couple of weeks ago.  Well here, the Israelites, and those who are trusting Jesus today, are being led out in a new Exodus.  Even creation is getting in on the action.  The thorns, briers and nettles (signs of judgement) are being overturned.  Instead new life is coming in.  Hope arises.

I always used to think the song ‘you will go out in joy and be led forth in peace and the mountains and hills will break forth before you…’ was a little bit naff.  Not now.  The whole of creation can but celebrate.  Jesus has come.  He has accomplished all God sent him to do on the cross.  We can have our thirst met.  We can live in joy and peace.  We can live in freedom.  We can live a satisfied and significant life.

So what now?

That’s great for us right?

Isn’t that incredible?  The deep thirst we all experience for satisfaction and significance can be met in Jesus.  But now… we have a responsibility.  We know where to find our thirst satisfied.  We have the answer.  

So as we approach June Project, as we approach #loveLeeds week can we take the gospel with us without being ashamed?  Can we seek to point people to how to have a significant and glorious life? Can we bring this freedom and good news?  What does the truth of Isaiah 55 mean for the city of Leeds?  What does it mean for your colleagues, your neighbours, your friends and family?

We live in a land that is parched and weary (Ps 63).  Don’t stress about sharing your faith.  Don’t stress about what to say… People are thirsty.  We can share our lives and our faith in confidence knowing that when God’s word goes out it always accomplishes what he purposes for it.  The onus is not on us to bring the revelation, just to point to the One who has already accomplished.

We started this evening with verse 1,
“Is anyone thirsty?
Come and drink – even if you have no money!
Come, take your choice of wine or milk – it’s all free!”

And I want to end with this.  Flip forward to the very end of the Bible.  Revelation 22:17 says,

“The Spirit and the bride say, “Come”.  Let anyone who hears this say, “Come”.  
Let anyone who is thirsty come.  
Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life.”

Anyone spot the awesomeness of this verse?  The Spirit and the bride say ‘Come’.

Guys – the bride is the church.  This is our job too.  The Spirit and the bride say come – we’re in partnership with God.  We don’t go out on our own.  So if you started this evening thinking you weren’t thirsty then great.  That is amazing.   But start calling those that are to the fountain of life.  Start pointing the way to the One who brings true satisfaction and significance.  

And if you are here this evening and recognise the thirst in your life.  Then take heart.  Verses 6 and 7 tell us what to do “Seek the Lord while you can find Him.  Call on him now while he is near… Turn to God.”  

Have you been looking for satisfaction in the wrong places?  Have you been reaching out to relationships, sex, food, alcohol, money, a clean and clutter free home?  Then, verse 7, “change your ways… turn to the Lord that he may have mercy… Yes, turn to God, for he will forgive generously”.  Are you thirsty for satisfaction?  Seek the Lord, Call on him now.

Or have you been striving for significance from your spouse, your colleagues, your children, your friends?  Have you been striving for significance from your paycheck, your grades, your intellect?  Then turn to the Lord.  Are you thirsty for significance?  Seek the Lord, Call on him now.

Because the One who can meet your thirst is here and there’s nothing more he wants than for you to have a full and glorious life, satisfied and significant.

Let’s pray.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

God Love You - Alexis, 3

So this morning in a Mum’s group, I mentioned how when I was a student at Uni I had all the time in the world to stick worship music on, get out books, Bible, journal and just be in God’s presence - no interruptions, no distractions - and how life’s seasons don’t always allow for that same level of intimacy in the same set up we’re used to.
It can be so difficult to choose to pursue God’s presence in the busy, distracted, full lives that we lead. So I figured I’d make a real effort to do that when my little one had her nap. Except she didn’t have a nap today. Game over?
Actually no.
I have worship music on. I have my Bible open. I have journal and pen in hand. And I have a God-given interrupter reminding me of the truth that I really need to hear. My daughter is making cards - stickers, pens - making a mess really, but she’s happy to draw, scribble and stick.
I’m mentally in Zechariah, “…if you follow my ways and carefully serve me, then you will be given authority over my Temple and its courtyards…” (Zechariah 3:7) I’m mentally feeling inadequate, so aware of the position I find myself in and how I don’t deserve it. So aware that the responsibility others place on me is often undeserved, unwarranted and placed on an unworthy recipient. I’m mentally questioning whether my life matches up to the message I have to declare and my daughter reaches the point in her card-making where she needs me to write the words for her.
I ask what she’d like me to write. Dictating, the response comes, “God love you Mummy. Make a heart.”
Isn’t that exactly what it’s all about?
We’re not worthy, we’re not wise. We don’t deserve the positions of authority or leadership we often find ourselves in. And that’s the whole point. It’s not about us. It’s about the fact that we are so undeservedly loved by God and he’s given us his heart. He’s given us Jesus. Jesus to replace the filthy clothes, “see I have taken away your sin, and now I am giving you these fine new clothes…” (Zechariah 3:4) Jesus who knows exactly how inadequate, how broken, how messed up/confused/selfish/proud we are and loves us. Loved us enough to die so that we could be cleaned up and given new clothes, new hope, new starts.
So often it’s the simplest , most straightforward message that we need to hear. The thing that needs to go deep.
“God. Love. You.”
As you are. Right now. In your hiding place. In your fear. In your brokenness. In your inadequacy. In your business. In your distraction. He loves you.

Saturday, 30 September 2017


I’m pretty sure we all share a common experience and feeling at some point in our lives and that’s rejection.  And it sucks.  It feels horrible.  No one wants to be rejected, on the outside, dismissed as inadequate or unacceptable.  And it starts really early on - the child in the playground with no one to play with, the last person to be picked for the sports team.  

I can remember, aged 11, being marched out of my school classroom by a group of girls who needed to ‘address’ my uniform.  Jumper lifted, skirt rolled up about 10 times and then I was in.  Now that my image had been altered, I was deemed acceptable.  I was now allowed to sit with them at lunch.  I was suddenly invited to parties and included… and all because my skirt needed to be shorter.  Maybe it’s not a childhood experience of rejection.  Maybe it’s more along the lines of:

- turned down time after time for job interviews
- being on the receiving end of a relationship break up
- not speaking the local language
- being the only guy in the room that doesn’t like sport
- being the single parent
- offering to serve and being ‘politely’ turned down
- being the unmarried one
- not having enough money to enter the social circle
- being the divorcee…

Whatever it is, at some time in our lives, we experience rejection.  

The lies of rejection are many.  Rejection tells us that we are unlovable, unwanted, unacceptable.  Rejection speaks of being despised, abandoned and forgotten.  It says you are denied, inadequate and kept out.  Rejection says you are forsaken.  

Unfortunately, the church is not immune from rejection.  Because it’s made up of people.  People who are broken and hurt, and hurt people hurt people, whether intentionally and not.  But what do we do when we experience rejection in church?  

The Bible has many examples of people who were rejected.  To name a few - Moses was initially rejected by the Israelites, Jephthah was rejected for being the son of a prostitute, Noah was mocked by the whole world, Stephen was rejected for speaking truth, Job’s wife spurned and left him in his darkest hour of need.  And then there’s Leah.

Leah was rejected and deemed ‘lesser’ than her sister because she had “soft” eyes! (Genesis 29:17)  The only way her father believed she would be married was to trick someone into sleeping with her.  Once married, her husband didn’t want her, he loved her sister “much more than Leah”.  Leah was someone who understood what it felt like to be rejected, unwanted, despised.  She had to live in that place of rejection day in and day out.  She strove for affection and acceptance from her spouse but was constantly kept at a distance.  And born out of all the rejection and pain was then generational rejection in Joseph’s rejection by his brothers (a whole other story)!   

Rejection happens to everyone.  Everyone experiences rejection in some way, some form, at some point in their lives.

Even Jesus compassionately empathises.  In Him, we have a friend who understands because “he faced all of the same testings we do” (Hebrews 4:15).  “He was despised and rejected” (Isaiah 53:3), “He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognise him.  He came to his own people, and even they rejected him.” (John 1:10-11).  He faced the ultimate rejection on the cross, crying out to God, “why have you abandoned me?” (Matthew 27:46) Jesus understands the pain of rejection.  He knows the sting of betrayal.  He felt the wounds of discord.  

Because he endured it.  He endured it so that the lies of rejection could be dealt with once and for all.

Because actually, God is all about acceptance.  He is all about welcome.  When the world says you are unlovable, God says you are “his own special treasure” (Deuteronomy 7:6) and that he will love “you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3).  When rejection says you are unwanted, God says you are “set apart” (Deuteronomy 14:2) and “are a chosen people” (1 Peter 2:9).  God does not show favouritism (Romans 2:11) with some ‘rating’ as better than others.  “See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1).  

Reject the lies of rejection and instead know that you are totally loved (Romans 8:38-39), that God is for you (Romans 8:31), that you are included in his family, chosen and appointed (John 15:16).  You are not forsaken (Psalm 94:14), not forgotten (Isaiah 49:15), a member - included - of God’s house (Ephesians 2:19-22).  You are beautiful (Psalm 139:4), delighted in and rejoiced over (Zephaniah 3:17).  Know too that you are cared for (1 Peter 5:7) and that God hears you: “The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help.  He rescues them from all their troubles.  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” (Psalm 34:17-18)  

Don’t listen to the lies of rejection.  Whether they are labels others have given you or ones you have claimed for yourself.  Don’t dwell in that place.  Choose instead to peel them off and listen to the truth of the Father.  Choose instead to rise up and serve elsewhere, choose instead to keep applying for those jobs, choose to bestow your friendship on those who need it… In your feeling of rejection and hurt, choose to reach out and accept and include others.

We may well have been rejected by others.  But we are never rejected by God.  Choose His way.      

Photo by Moritz Schumacher on Unsplash