From my distress I called upon the Lord; The Lord answered me and set me in a large place.
The Lord is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me?
The Lord is for me among those who help me; Therefore I will look with satisfaction on those who hate me.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord Than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord Than to trust in princes. (Psalm 118:5-9)
My grade school days taught me a life-long aversion to picking teams. There isn’t any situation in a standard PE curriculum for which I wouldn’t be the last one picked for the team. (Too bad we never chose teams for reading. Or making up stories. Or bossing around younger siblings.)
Through the years I’ve found myself in job searches which stirred up that “please pick me” feeling again. Is there anyone in the world who enjoys interviewing, attempting to sell themselves as the best candidate for a job?
In my pre-marriage days, I loved the independence singleness offered, along with the freedom to be fully available to friendships and serving my community. I did not love situations that required a partner, highlighting my “table of one” status, making me feel like the last kid chosen for the team, again.
Surely no one likes feeling unwanted, like the last one chosen?
As human as these feelings are, they are also a danger zone for me, leading as they do into the fear of man. My desire to be chosen quickly escalates into idolatry of the person in charge of choosing. I am easily fooled into giving human beings rights to my heart that belong to God alone.
I walk into a room, and feel like people are talking about me. I wonder if they like me, if anyone here wants to be my friend.
I watch a co-worker, whose areas of excellence overlap with my own, succeed. Rather than celebrating her success, I’m suddenly stuck on the sidelines, while she is chosen to play in the big game.
At work, decisions are being made that could affect my future. I feel threatened, attacked, unappreciated. I am convinced that my future and well-being are in the hands of people who care nothing for me.
I really wish life did not include so many situations that tempt me to believe that my value, my worth, my future, were things that other people get to decide for me.
What if these minor annoyances and major struggles are actually opportunities? Here I find a chance to live in the belief that I am not at all the last one standing, but in fact “chosen and dearly loved” (Colossians 3:12).
Here I find an occasion for turning from my fear of man, taking back the right to name me as wanted, chosen, valued, protecting that privilege for my Maker God alone. God is FOR me.
In every situation that sends me back to that PE gym, feeling unchosen, unwanted, not good enough, I find the possibility to choose trusting God rather than trusting in man.
Pushed to the wall, I called to God; from the wide open spaces, he answered.
God’s now at my side and I’m not afraid; who would dare lay a hand on me?
God’s my strong champion; I flick off my enemies like flies.
Far better to take refuge in God than trust in people;
Far better to take refuge in God than trust in celebrities.
(Psalm 118:5-9, The Message)
How about you? What makes you feel unwanted, unchosen? Do you find yourself trusting in human help, human favor, human solutions to your problems?
Be encouraged: The beautiful NO FEAR promise in Psalm 118 is bookended by an even more beautiful promise. Psalm 118 begins and ends with the words:
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
The good Lord, full of everlasting lovingkindness, is for me. And for you. We will not fear.
This post is the latest in the NO FEAR Devotional Series. Check back every Tuesday, and read the previous posts in the series here. And If this resonated with you, feel free to share it using the link below: That really helps people to find this site, which hopefully will bless them as it has blessed you!