Fred Froman was a stout, big man – six foot six, and 275.  He had come to the staff of a large Baptist church from a successful pastorate.  He was the Children’s Pastor.  While he remained in character to love the children, he wanted to get back into the pulpit on a regular basis and the pulpit at this large church belonged to a preacher who had been holding forth for 20+ years. 

Resumes went out and Fred waited.  More than once in the following months he told me of a church saying he was not the right one for them.  Full of faith as he was, he would say, “Rejection is protection.”   His faith-interpretation of being rejected was, “I would not fit there . . . my gifted is not what they need . . . heartache and hardship could happen there  . . .  I am better off staying where I am as Children’s Pastor until God arranged for me to be in the spot of his choosing.” 

God gave Marilyn and me two sons.  We always wanted more,  especially a daughter.  But it was ”two and out.”   Fred’s cheerful acceptance of rejection put in a few words the attitude we had adopted years before we met Dr. Fredly.  Rejection is protection. God rejected our wish for more sons and daughters.  Who knows what would have happened.  Would a daughter have broken our hearts? Would another son reject the Lord and besmirch our name?   Would a daughter be lost to drugs?  I am still at rest  — rarely think about it — because rejection is often (not always) protection.

Jeremiah was told, “You must not marry and have sons and daughters in this place” (Jeremiah 16:2).  It is likely that Jeremiah had a normal desire for companionship and a family.  But God rejected this.  Was rejection protection? Yes.  Verse 4 says the sons and daughters of the area would “. . . die of deadly diseases . . .  not be mourned . . . not be buried but would be like refuse lying on the ground.  They will perish by the sword and famine. . . .” 

To protect Jeremiah from the wrenching,  wounding experience of watching sons or daughters die, God told him not to marry or have children. 

We all face rejection.  Many times that is the Lord protecting us from unknown stresses and disasters and ruin.  Let’s take the faith interpretation of God’s “No” the way Dr. Fredly did – Rejection is Protection.     

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