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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Resignation and Acceptance

I've often helped people through the classic 5 stages of grief:
Denial.  Anger.  Bargaining.  Depression.  Acceptance.
We can understand and relate to the denial, anger, bargaining and depression part.
It is the "acceptance" part that is hard to wrap our minds around.
How can I "accept" the suffering that I am going through?
Some look at the idea of suffering with a "Doris Day" type philosophy (Now bringing up her name dates me).  She used to sing, "Que Sera, Sera, whatever will be, will be.")
In other words, whatever happens will happen.
To a certain extent, our Muslim friends have the same kind of philosophy:  "Whatever Allah wills."
Whatever happens, happens.
But acceptance is where you keep on believing God for a miracle even as you accept the reality of your present situation.
Acceptance doesn't demand that God work in a certain way (a predetermined conclusion) but rather leaves the nature of the miracle to the wisdom of God.
It may mean some kind of divine intervention in the circumstances of life.  Or it may come as a miracle in our spirit, enabling us to experience peace and even a godly joy in the midst of suffering.
That, in and of itself, is a miracle.
Acceptance means that we stop fighting God.  We stop blaming him. may mean that we start forgiving Him for what has happened to us.
Now then, wrap your mind around that.
Who are we to forgive God?  And who are we to presume that God needs forgiving?
One author writes this:  "We are not forgiving God because He has done something wrong, for He hasn't.  Rather, we are forgiving Him in the sense that we have blamed Him, held Him responsible, and our feelings have alienated us from Him.  When we "forgive" Him, we let go of those feelings - all of the hurt and anger, all of the bitterness and distrust.  It means we stop working against His purposes in our life.  Instead, we yield ourselves to Him, we work with Him.  And as a result, we experience His supernatural peace."
Are you struggling with acceptance today?
Let me leave you with this from Elizabeth Elliot:
"Resignation is surrender to fate; acceptance is surrender to God.  Resignation lies down quietly in an empty universe.  Acceptance rises up to meet the God who fills that universe with purpose and destiny.  Resignation says, "I can't," and God says, "I can."  Resignation says, "It's all over for me."  Acceptance asks, "Now that I'm here, Lord, what's next?"  Resignation says, "What a waste."  Acceptance says, In what redemptive way can you use this mess, Lord?"
Just a thought for a Thursday.

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