A few hours ago I discovered that the museum I work in will close until further notice. I work in a kitchen so working from home isn’t an option. Given that I’m on a zero hour contract I can pretty safely assume that my income will cease. No measures have been put in place to counteract this as of yet and I can’t be sure of how long this period will last. I don’t doubt that the organisation I’m employed by will try to help, or to encourage us that this won’t be for too long, but until it is clear otherwise, you could say that I’m effectively unemployed. In these uncertain times, the job hunt must continue.
Yet, even without all the current complications, it is hard to grasp at any motivation to send yet another job application that, I tell myself, is bound to be rejected, just like the 65 previous ones were.
Rejection is never easy, and it doesn’t necessarily get easier. Yes, my first job rejection was the hardest blow, but many times since I have reached out for job opportunities, believing that maybe this time I had a chance, to have them snatched away, as the employer regrets to inform me that there was a better alternative. Of course I don’t blame the employers, it is important to find the best candidate for each role. But the constant stream of rejections can really start to wear you down.
It’s not all rejection – I do actually have an interview tomorrow. But after having already attended a fair number, during which my massive fear of interviews was slowly beaten down, I have become very aware that an interview does not mean a job.
Yet there are many who will be hit harder by the sudden changes caused by this pandemic than me. I live with my parents and slowly but surely, my last few months of working have brought my income back above the £0 mark. I may have no flat of my own, a very insecure job, little money, and no assurance of income, but I am comforted by the fact that when Jesus began his ministry, he did not have any of these things. He had no flat to return to as he travelled from one place to another in order to proclaim the good news. He had no abundance of money that would enable him an easy life as he travelled. And he no longer had a job – a way of living securely and making a living. His life was not defined by these things. Instead, his life was defined by a far greater purpose. To seek and to save the lost. To bring people into eternal life with him as our king.
And what is more, he is not a faraway king with no regard for his people. He is the king that came to live amongst us, who faced every kind of suffering, who even died on a cross so that we could be saved. He faced so much rejection, and rejection that was far more personal than that of job applications. His own followers and friends turned away from him, denied him, betrayed him. Jesus is our sustainer and king, and yet we reject him. I cannot begin to imagine the pain that Jesus faced as he walked the road to cross, dying for the very ones who had turned away from him.
Honestly, I am tired of receiving rejections and and it is hard not to let it feel personal. But whatever rejections we do face, we can let them drive us to a wonderful truth: that the one who we have rejected, our saviour and king, he has not rejected us, with open arms he has to welcomed us in. Maybe you’re in the midst of the job hunt, maybe you’re facing broken relationships, maybe people are turning away from you as you try to make this Jesus known. It sucks. But he is not unfamiliar with rejection, he will comfort you in your rejection and you can be certain that as you turn to him, he will never reject you.