Prepare yourself to discern what is and what is not of God today. Still yourself so you can hear how God is calling you.
Acts 1:12-17, 21-26 (NRSV)
Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.
In those days Peter stood up among the believers (together the crowd numbered about one hundred twenty persons) and said, “Friends, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit through David foretold concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus— for he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.”
So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection.” So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. Then they prayed and said, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.
Have you ever felt rejected? Maybe you didn’t make the team, or get the job, or your significant other broke up with you. Justus could surely empathize with you! He lost out on what must have been the dream job of every one of that larger company of the followers of Jesus that we call “apostles.” Maybe he had been an enthusiastic follower of Jesus from the beginning of his public ministry. Maybe he was even a close friend or a member of Jesus’ family. In any case, he must have been a faithful and devoted disciple even to be in the running for the position as Judas’ replacement. However well qualified he might have been, Justus lost the job to Matthias.
We don’t hear about Justus again in the New Testament, but I like to think that he got over his disappointment and found another way to serve and to spread the good news. God’s plan for our lives may mean that we, like Justus, will sometimes face rejection; but God has a job for each of us—a perfect fit, tailored just for us. To find that job, we just have to trust in the wisdom, love, and grace of our Creator, who knows us better than we know ourselves.
Creator God, when we face rejection and disappointment, help us to remember that you always “have our backs.” Remind us to seek your will in every aspect of our lives, so that we can serve you perfectly in the jobs you, in your wisdom, have given us to do.
Go with God.