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Jump-Start Your Day

Thursday, December 27th, '18

All rights reserved © message by Kris Jackson

 

ACCEPTANCE

"And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me" (Matthew 11:5)

 

The G.I. is stationed clear on the other side of the planet during Christmas. No presents to open, no presents to give. Loneliness sets in. The teenage girl has been grounded, no cell phone, no e-mailing, no friends over for the night. Boredom sets in. "It's best for you Mama. They have all kinds of games and you'll meet so many new friends", says the eldest daughter as mother views her new room for the first time at the rest home. "But I don't want to rest and this isn't home", she fumes, trying to deny the weakening shell of her body. Frustration sets in. Or there is John sitting in Herod's jail. He had been the talk of the Jordan Valley, now he sits on a cold floor. "I don't even know what day it is. Shall I plan an escape or just sit it out?" Confusion sets in.

 

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change..." is my least favorite of prayers. The flesh fights acquiescence. The leg lost in combat, the son lost in a car wreck, the family photos lost to fire, the love torn by time or distance. Anger sets in. We may think ourselves immune but even people who love God can resent His ways. John had a legitimate gripe. "If Jesus can raise the dead, why can't He spring me out of jail?" You've raised the same query. If He heals, why are my muscles failing with M.S.? Why did I lose my retirement fund? What's up with this gall bladder? "I have no patience and I refuse to be one of the patients!" Defiance sets in. Then the Lord whispers, "Wait on Me. I am your health, I am your salvation". "But that's not good enough", cries the ego. So anxiety sets in. We would rather except certain things than accept things. "I will submit to anything except..." The fact is, we are not dead to self yet. A finger or a toe still twinges beneath the shoveled sod.

 

God's ways are not our ways. That is the first absolute learned in the school of faith. To not have to explain but to simply trust is the definition of faith. God doesn't make sense because He lives in a higher plain of sense. "Happy is the man that doesn't find himself antagonized by me" (Barclay). Patience is never antagonized. If you can't be home for Christmas, John, then think of the stars outside your cell window as being shimmering ornaments and twinkling Christmas lights. Hope will set in. Let visions of sugarplums dance through your head. Imagine the future without dictating the way it turns out. And don't take the frustration out on the Lord. "Not my will, but thine" is the only attitude that will survive a winter whiteout or summer blackout. And when there is full acceptance, the trust that God knows best and loves most, then you can slowly ease your grip on lesser things. My pastor friend who lost his wife to brain cancer agreed that there were four steps to his grief, a thick sense of aloneness, the anger that asks, "Why us?", the breakdown of helplessness that casts everything on God then a gradual acceptance of the way things are. John the Baptist had to come to terms with acceptance while in Herod's jail. The Father never let Jesus pay John's bail or even stop to visit him. Some things simply make no sense but trust we must, even with questions swirling in our heads. "Blessed is he", you may not see the blessedness in the trial right now, "whosoever is not offended in me". In other words, don't argue over how He runs His business.


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