Dealing with the feeling that you are not good enough is never an easy task. Today I had to deal with the disappointment of being told I didn’t make the cut. As part of my job, I need to submit papers for conferences and publications. The field is very competitive and today I received notification that a proposal I have submitted a few months ago was rejected.
It’s not like I was dying to attend that conference, though the prestige of participation would have certainly looked good in my CV. What I found hard to digest was the inevitable sense of failure hidden deeply inside. I began to think, then, that those nagging feelings of inadequacy seem to be popping up more often that I would like.
That is not the way of the Lord. He wants us to enjoy fulfillment not just in eternity, but also in our lives here on earth. That is why He tells us, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10: 10) It is the enemy, that “thief” that comes in the night to “seal and kill and destroy” the one who invades our emotions and taunts us with failure. God, on the other hand, is the Giver of Life, and He gives it in abundance.
I can’t fall in the traps the enemy lays out in my path. Instead, I must recognize them, realize they are indeed traps, and proceed to grab a tighter hold of my Lord and his promises, for He says:
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. (Psalm 37: 4-6)
Who cares about that conference, anyway? As it happens, I have been accepted to a better one, so I count it all as gain. Yes, I will be rejected many times in the future, as I have been in the past. I will get less than glowing evaluations and I will get negative critique to my work; but rather than allowing such experiences to bring me down, I must receive them as the fertilizer that will make me grow. I will continue to do my part and let the Lord be Lord over all my work and all my efforts, for His glory and honor.