When Andrew got ready for work one Friday morning, he announced to his wife that he finally decided to ask his boss for a salary raise. All day Andrew felt nervous and apprehensive as he thought about the upcoming showdown. What if Mr. Larchmont refuses to grant his request? Andrew had worked so hard in the last 18 months and landed some great accounts for Braer and Hopkins Advertising Agency. Of course, he deserves a wage increase.
The thought of walking into Larchmont's office left Andrew weak in the knees. Late in the afternoon he finally mustered up the courage to approach his superior. To his delight and surprise, the ever-frugal Harvey Larchmont agreed to give Andrew a raise!
Andrew arrived home that evening-despite breaking all city and state speed limits-to a beautiful table set with their best china, and candles lit. His wife, Tina had prepared an exquisite meal including his favorite dishes. Immediately he figured someone from the office tipped her off!
Next to his plate Andrew found a beautiful lettered note. It was from his wife. It read: "Congratulations, my love! I knew you'd get the raise! I prepared this dinner to show just how much I love you. I am so proud of your accomplishments!" He read it and stopped to reflect on how sensitive and caring Tina was.
After dinner, Andrew was on his way to the kitchen to get dessert and he observed that a second card had slipped out of Tina's pocket on to the ceramic floor. He bent forward to retrieve it. He read: "Don't worry about not getting the raise! You deserve it anyway! You are a wonderful provider and I prepared this dinner to show you just how much I love you even though you did not get the increase."
Suddenly tears swelled in Andrew's eyes. Total acceptance! Tina's support for him was not conditional upon his success at work.
The fear of rejection is often softened when we know someone loves us regardless of our success or failure. In my experience as a pastor, the strongest encouragement I receive is from the love of our Heavenly Father. As long as I am faithful to do my best, God stands behind me no matter what happens. He will not condemn me for my mistakes or failures.
Quite the opposite! He heals my wounds and enables me to make another run for it in the very area where I experience defeat. Another display of the Lord's acceptance is when He touches me through positive support from my wife.
We can undergo almost any setback or rejection if we know someone else loves us. The first place to start? Begin by discovering the unconditional mercy and compassion of our loving Heavenly Father as shown in the gift of His Son Jesus. "We love because He first loved us" ~1John 4:19
Story adapted by Louis Lapides