TD Jakes - Rejoicing in Rejection
God help the innkeeper that tells me you don't have room. You don't have what? You mean to tell me, after 90 miles and 7 days, that I finally got there and now, what do you mean don't have room for me? How you handle rejection determines whether you will be successful in life. Rejection. The point of rejection, it's the place where faith is proven. Oh, y'all got quiet now. Y'all were shoutin' with me pretty good but I lost you. Rejection is the magnetometer that you must go through to prove that you can take the flight that God's about to put you on. Until you master your ability to cope with no. He who would be defined by rejection is rejected before he is ever born.
The rejection is almost prophetic of the whole Christology experience of who he is. He would spend a lifetime being rejected, he would spend a lifetime of coming to his own and his own people not receiving him, he would spend a lifetime being rejected by many of the disciples that he poured into, he would spend a lifetime being rejected, that's how he ended up on the cross. He would spend a lifetime. I mean, I can't take no more rejection. Do you know what rejection does to self-esteem? Does anybody in here know what rejection does to self-esteem? Do you understand how personal this is? How do I go back out there and tell her that I didn't get the job, that they called me for the interview and they picked somebody else? How do I tell her that they repossessed the car and I had to get a ride home with a friend? How do I get myself to come home and tell my kids, we don't have no Christmas?
I want to talk to people who understand something about rejection. Not just rejection, you must go deeper than the act of rejection. It is the consequences of rejection that I'm talkin' about. I'm talkin' about what happens in your stomach, I'm talkin' about the taste a bile in your mouth that comes out of your liver because it's not just that the door is closed, the closing of the door that says you ain't no man. You ain't no man. You ain't nothing. You ain't nothing. This just confirms it, just settles it. You done brought her out here, now she know you ain't nothing.
And this is a crisis, and it brings up every negative thing that has ever been said about you in your whole life. All of them rehearse themselves as you walk back to the donkey tryin' to figure out how you're going to explain to her that your best plan didn't work. And she's crying and cramping and craving, and any minute her water will break. And all I have for you is rejection.
Let me take a poll in here. How many people in this room have ever been rejected? I just wanna make sure that I'm talking to the right people, because there's no need in me tryin' to explain somethin' that you haven't experienced because I am not articulate enough to enunciate those things that happen to the soul when you are rejected. Rejected by a lover, rejected by a father, rejected by a mother, rejected by family, rejected by a job, rejected by a boyfriend, rejected by girlfriend, rejected, rejected, rejected, rejected rejected, rejected from the sorority, rejected from the fraternity, rejected from the inner circle, rejected in your own office, rejected in your own neighborhood, rejected in your own school.
I want to talk to some people that know what it feels like. I'm not talkin' about rejection, but what it feels like. There is a disorder called rejection sensitive dysphoria. Rejection sensitive dysphoria. RSD comes to people that rejection has an extreme reaction for. They cannot handle it well. RSD comes in your life, that is rejection sensitive dysphoria. All of us hate rejection, but some of us freak. We are rejection sensitive, we are traumatized by rejection. Rejection does stuff to us after it walks away. It fondles us, it plays with us, it teases us, it suggests that we... Not that it didn't work, but that we don't work, and that we aren't anything, and that we aren't any good. And rejection sensitive dysphoria, it was years before there was a name for it, now we have a name for it.
I want to talk to people who wither inside. The term dysphoria comes from a Greek word to mean unbearable. Because the pain is unbearable. It'll make you go in the house and not come out. Rejection sensitive dysphoria will make you procrastinate from trying for fear of rejection. You would rather not know that you could lose than to risk having this feeling again. Rejection sensitive dysphoria comes in the lives of people, they do well for a while but then something happens and triggers it. And when that triggers in them, they go into this painful, dark, dank, angry place where you don't hear I don't like your dress, you hear you're ugly and you're stupid and you are nothing and you're never gonna be anything.
Rejection sensitive dysphoria makes the rejection sound louder to you. And what attracted me to the text, is not the door that opens, it's the door that closed. And the reason I'm attracted to the door that closed is that you will never find your open door til you can manage, until you can see rejection and not take it personal. Because after all, it's not about we don't like you, it is that somebody got there before you and there is no room in the inn. So why are you freaking out like you are not valuable? I would've took your money, but there is no room in the inn. But when you are rejection sensitive dysphoria, it's not about practicality, it's about how you rationalize rejection.
Oh, can I talk to you today? And so I feel unwanted and not valuable, and I can't rationalize the fact that you only had seven rooms and you got 14 guests in 'em. There just wasn't any room in the end. I wanted to talk to you about rejection because Christmas brings rejection up loud. As you turn on your TV and everybody's layin' on a bear rug in front of a fireplace sipping some chablis and you in the house with your dog. Rejection screams the loudest when you're supposed to be happy, but you can't be happy because your daughter don't even like you. And every time you go in the mall and you see mothers and daughters shopping, a dagger goes right in your chest because I was the best mama I knew how to be, she don't even like me.
Or you see those kids running in, talking about how good their mama was, but your mama wasn't. And the holidays are not great for you because there's no room at the inn. In fact, you didn't get invited to the party and they purposely avoided inviting you to things that you should've been a part of and you were left home to wrestle with rejection wonderin' what they're doing. Wonder what they doing right now. Wonder, wonder, wonder what they cooking, wonder, wonder who's there, wonder who's laughing, wonder who's holding him, wonder. Rejection sensitive dysphoria is not about the doors that open, it's about the door that closed.
Mary, get back on the horse, get back on the donkey, we gotta keep on riding, and we're riding into the abyss of not knowing because I'm out of ideas and I'm out of plans and I'm out of tricks. We gotta keep on riding. And I'm gonna walk right beside you, but I don't know where I'm going, but I tell you what, devil, I will keep on. I wish I had some strong-willed people that's been through some stuff and you say I tell you what, devil, I don't know where I'm going, but I'm going.
Touch three people and say keep on walking. Keep on walking. Walk when you don't know where you're going, walk when you don't see your way clear, walk when your heart is broken, walk when you're under distress, walk when you run out of money, walk when your friends betray you, walk when they lie on you, walk when what you imagine doesn't happen, just keep on walking. Then Joseph got Mary back on the donkey and they started goin' to God knows where to get God knows what from God knows who. And while they were traveling they saw something. It wasn't what they had in mind, it wasn't no inn, it didn't have no elevator, yeah, wasn't no New York Times at the door, no room service, but they saw something.
See, sometimes you gotta bring your loftiness down to reality, because what you had in mind may not be what God had in mind. But God wouldn't have brought you out here if he didn't have a place for you. I see something. Watch this, y'all. He stumbled up on it. it was kinda like a, it was kinda like a barn, but it was something. It was something. And the Bible says that there were shepherds out in the field keeping the sheep safe. So it was safe. Safe enough. Watch this, this is a powerful thing. What I'm about to say is a powerful thing, especially if you have rejection issues. Safe enough to be vulnerable.
See, it's hard to be vulnerable if you don't feel safe. So they found a place. It wasn't elegant, it wasn't fancy, nope, nope. No nice beds and nothin' like that, but it was safe enough to be vulnerable, to go into the birth position. You can't have a baby and be running. So, baby, baby, I know it's not fancy, and there's no room service, and nothing like that, but it's safe enough to be vulnerable. And they brought him into this old barn. And Mary is in the barn. And there are three things in the barn. There's the manger, the milk rags, and the men that watched. In the barn there is a manger. And the word manger comes from a Latin word that means to chew. It was a trough for feeding animals, but they said the baby will fit nicely into here. So the manger became a cradle.
Now the cradle was really a trough, but Jesus is the bread of life, and later he would say, "Unless you drink my blood and eat my flesh, you shall have no part with me". And when she birthed him, dinner was served. And so they laid him, they laid him, they laid him in the manger. And I know you don't think it was appropriate, but it it was appropriate if you understand that he called himself a grain of wheat, and wheat was what they fed to the animals, and wheat is what makes bread, and he became the bread of life. And they laid him in a trough because God would say come and dine, the master called, come and dine. And they laid him in a manger.
And I know this isn't the way you would like for it to be, but the Bible says she wrapped him in swaddling clothes. And swaddling clothes are milk rags, they're the rags that when you milk a cow and you have some spilt milk, those are swaddling clothes, they're milk rags, but we'll wrap him up in milk rags. And they didn't know they were wrapping the sincere milk of the Word. And so they had milk against milk. Yeah, yeah. They didn't know that they were wrapping the breasted one in milk rags. And they wrapped him in swaddling clothes and they laid him in the manger.
But I want to talk about the men that watched, because I never paid attention to the men that watched. I always knew the story, and I knew that they were shepherds watching the sheep, and then I realized that Jesus is the Lamb of God, and now I understand why they had the shepherds there, because they were about to birth the Lamb of God. And Mary thought she was carrying a man, but the man was the lamb, and the lamb was a man. And the shepherds oughtta be watching it because she was about to have God's little lamb, and he didn't need to be in the inn, he needed to be in the barn because he is the Lamb of God. Shout hallelujah, somebody! Shout hallelujah, somebody! Shout hallelujah, somebody! Shout hallelujah, somebody!
And now I realize that what Joseph had planned was never what God had planned. I'm going to preach this in a minute. The reason I'm preaching about rejoicing in rejection is that anytime you face rejection, it's a sign of direction. Anybody can shout when God opens a door, but you oughtta shout when God shuts the door, because anytime God shuts a door he says not here, not here, not here, not here, I gotta place for you. Come on, somebody, 30 seconds of praise right now. Just 30 seconds of praise. I feel a shift in the atmosphere. I feel a shift in the atmosphere. I feel a shift in the atmosphere. Slap your neighbor and say I'm in the right place. Take me up a key. I'm in the right place. I'm in the right place. I'm gonna stay right here and wait on the Lord, he may not come.
I got one more thing to tell ya. All while they were traveling the 90 miles and the 7 days, God had sent a word to the wise men that said go til you see a child laying in a manger. If he'd have been laying in an inn, he'd have missed his blessing. The Bible says that the wise men had frankincense, myrrh, and gold. And I don't know who I'm preaching to, but if you had not been rejected, you'd have missed your blessing, because the blessing isn't coming to your hotel, the blessing is coming to the barn. And while they were in the manger, here come the wise men. They got their own donkeys, but the wise men rode in on camels.
And the Lord told me to tell ya, the camels are coming. The camels are coming. The camels are coming. Slap your neighbor and tell 'em the camels are coming. Get ready for God to open up the window. And the only thing that matters, the only thing that matters is that I'm rejected enough to be in the place where the camels are coming. And if God would've cared about my comfort, I'd have missed my camels. Because my camels are not coming to my comfort, the camels are comin' to my crisis. And if he were not in the barn, the wise men would have been waiting in a place that he missed. And so we rejoice. And again I say we rejoice in rejection.