Not long ago, I stopped by an office supply store to pick up a few items. While waiting in line, I noticed a bird in a high window, beating its wings frantically at the glass, trying to get outside. Below the closed window stood an open door, but the bird didn't see it, so focused was it on reaching what lay beyond the glass.
Watching this little creature reminded me of a time when a creative project that I'd poured my heart into and had high hopes for came to a grinding halt.
The rejection hit me like a ton of bricks. Whatever form it takes, rejection can leave us feeling hurt, angry, resentful, and even wallowing in self-pity. Sometimes we go away, lick our wounds, and then go on, but there may be a lingering feeling of unworthiness or a question of why things didn't work out.
In my case, not only did I feel rebuffed, but I had also been counting on the income from the project to help fund my son's first year of college.
At that time a friend shared with me a verse from the Bible: "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it" (Mal. 3:10). My friend pointed out that this promise states "windows" plural, not "window" singular. God's blessings are infinite, and they flow to us through many avenues, not just one.
As I pondered this insight, I began to see that what felt like rejection in this case was really just disappointed self-will. I'd been vigorously outlining a specific course of action and related outcome instead of humbly turning to God and trusting His care and direction.
In the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mary Baker Eddy wrote, "Soul has infinite resources with which to bless mankind, and happiness would be more readily attained and would be more secure in our keeping, if sought in Soul" (p. 60).
I realized that I'd been seeking happiness – in the form of creative fulfillment and income – through limited material circumstances, instead of entrusting my welfare to God, the source of infinite wisdom, whom Mrs. Eddy here defines as "Soul."
How like the trapped bird I'd been, convinced that the needed income and artistic expression could come only through one specific "window." Taking a spiritual perspective on rejection, however, served as the catalyst for a deepened trust in God's eternal, impartial goodness and in His tender, intelligent shepherding of my life.
I saw that there was a condition linked to the biblical promise of abundant blessing: gratitude. Mrs. Eddy defines "tithe" in part as "gratitude" (Science and Health, p. 595), and it became clear that not only did I need to be willing to turn to God for guidance, but I also needed to bring my "tithes into the storehouse" – to be grateful for the abundant blessings that He had already bestowed on me and my family.
Instead of feeling rejected and sorry for myself, I resolved to be more grateful, and to relinquish outlining and planning, and instead allow God to take the lead.
As I yielded up the limited, material thinking and trusted instead in God's tender care for me and my family, an unexpected "window of heaven" opened. Out of the blue, I was offered a project for which I was uniquely suited, one which proved to be tremendously fulfilling artistically and more than provided the needed income for my son's first year at college. Interestingly, it was also an opportunity for which, had the rejected project gone forward, I wouldn't have been available.
If we find ourselves flapping our wings against what appears to be a closed window of rejection, we can take heart. We can trust God's wise shepherding and remember that His goodness is boundless. There are infinite "windows of heaven" through which His blessings flow!