Sometimes we fight really really hard against something we can’t quite grasp. We say we are not going to give in because then we would lose. And yet, our energy gets sapped, our forgiveness quotient drops and our joy fades. We know that to give in would, in essence mean, give up, and our natural desire to survive helps us to see that we just can’t give up. Giving up brings us into a ‘Never Again’ world. Never again will I be able to… Never again will this…The permanence of that finished thought can be suffocating. And so, we fight because the alternative is, thankfully, unacceptable.
But in this quest to prove to ourselves that we are not giving up, we risk wearing out emotionally and/or mentally. Could there be a better way? The answer may rest in making a subtle but significant distinction between resignation and acceptance.
- For just a moment, think about a long-term situation you are fighting. What is the danger of resignation for you?
- What changes in your mind as you consider accepting something rather than resigning yourself to it?
- For you, what makes acceptance difference from resignation?
- How does making this distinction support you as you move forward with living while this thing is in your life?
There is a humbling of ourselves that brings us to a carefree place in the midst of whatever God’s ‘hand’ is that is upon us. Even the worst of situations has first passed through His hands. Not that He ’caused’, but He does ‘allow’. The humble in spirit revere a God and acknowledge His hand upon their lives even if sometimes it feels very, very heavy. This leads to an acceptance that brings a lightness and almost a carefree (not hapless) attitude towards our struggle. Peter describes this transformation of our inner man so well in 1 Peter 5:6-9. This instruction supports me personally every day because every day I run the risk of struggling (aka: fighting).
Through undeniable aging and various infirmities, my almost 50-year old body is tired and worn and much less predictable. And this is nothing compared to what will be if the Lord gives me 70 or 80 years. And yet, inwardly, I can be renewed day by day as I invite God into those weary and worn places and accept His hand as working to mold and shape me into His likeness, knowing, that at the proper time, He promises to exalt those who have humbled themselves under that mighty hand.
So no matter how long the trial, no matter how great the pain, heaven’s perspective enlightens us that all affliction is momentary and light compared to the eternal weight of glory that awaits us in Christ Jesus.
Ready to take the plunge into acceptance? Wonder what awaits you there…
Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)