The disciples drew lots to find the person to join them as the twelfth, to fill the space left by Judas. They prayed for guidance in their selection and Matthias joined them.
Fantastic, easy to celebrate with them all.
But what about the other man?
What about Joseph Barsabbas Justus, what was it like for him?
He was not selected. The holy spirit did you choose him.
His heart was examined and what was seen?
I doubt there was anything wrong with him, but in a choice there has to be someone not chosen. It then becomes less about a failing and more about comparisons. But that's hard in itself. How can you accept that?
I have always tried to trust in God's plan, that rejection is a way of showing me that I'm off course. But that's hard, really hard!
As part of selection for ministry you work through some of this, and believe me it takes guts and a readiness to accept not being selected to go forward. I didn't have to face it in the end, but in the week after the process I believed I'd been rejected and knew I'd be looking for a new path.
I've also walked alongside friends who've felt rejection on their calling, whether to join PCC or train for ministry. I have seen some move on quickly and find new paths which are now clearly right for them.
But I've also seen friends stumble and falter and fall under the weight of rejection. This is one of the hardest things to cope with in life, so much more than just human rejection, it feels like a condemnation from God.
I have come to believe that God does have a plan which includes coping with rejection. I know that means there'll be heartache and bitterness, but I really believe God holds us through that and guides us where he leads.
And those friends who have healed through the pain have experienced it, they've found a path and sometimes that's meant going forward again for selection and sometimes it's meant a new plan.
Jesus knew Joseph Barsabbas Justus and valued him, he kept him alongside and never banished him. Jesus knew Justus' path and I am sure he found it. In our own Justus events we need to hold onto the same trust in God's' road for us.