Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the Courage to change the things I can
and the Wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.
Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life,
and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.
Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace…
I have known the hard way. More than once.
And by traveling the rocky road washed out in the storm, I have learned much. Eventually. By embracing the situation after my initial denial and anger, I accepted what was and determined to become better through it.
Not bitter. Thanks be to God.
And when suffering and sorrow are our traveling companions, over time and with our choice to surrender, they can produce in us the fruit of the vine, all sweet.
Luscious fruit that can feed others well. Fruit like love, patience, kindness and gentleness.
Trials expand and deepen us on the inside so that our service and reach to the outside goes further.
Softening us in a winsome way hard won…
Touching more hearts with our own broken, contrite one…
Shining, with tarnish rubbed clean, much brighter than ever, illuminating another’s similar path…
Serving those God brings our way in love.
Isn’t it true that after a season of suffering and sorrow, during a long, dark night filled with pain or fear or loss or lack, that our hearts can see more clearly than ever before?
For it is the suffering squeeze that wrings impurities from our hearts.
Yielding clarity, and wisdom.
Purging us so that what remains is life affirming.
And then our hearts ring loudly with the simple sweet refrain of love.
His Love. First Corinthians 13 kind of Love. Sacrificial, not self-seeking.
God, all loving and knowing what is best, will continue to take us through such soul detox as much as is needed to teach us to love good, better, best…
He diligently works in us, with just the right amount of pressure so that we don’t break, remembering that we are just dust. But the process can produce such pain it will feel as if we are in a million jagged pieces. And we think we’ll never be able to fit them back together.
And this is when we must let go.
Let go and go lower…
Let go to love…
Let go of the control we desperately cling to as we try to sort it all out and fix our mess. But it is too big for us to figure out alone.
So we stand and then keep standing even when it seems that dawn may never come.
We’ll get so very tired that we may consider giving up and giving in, and roll over and play dead. And just when we think we can’t possibly travel another step with sorrow and suffering, a new traveling companion arrives along side us.
Grace bids us come. Grace was actually there all along, but our hearts were not yet able to see it.
And He calls to us. Come and abide…
In Him. And in the abiding, we grow in grace. And healing. Hearts coming alive. And real.
Grace will lift us high on eagles wings so that we can keep walking and not weary.
His glory is in His grace.
Grace and glory will wrap their arms around us, leading us out of the valley of despair and back to the high road, where mountain peaks surge towards the vast expanse of the heavenlies.
The world may swirl at dizzying speeds and we may not be sure of outcomes, but serenity will flood our once tormented hearts with the sure certainty that there is One who is and was and will always be in control, holding us close to His heart.
Never further than a prayerful heartbeat away.
And our hearts no longer sore, will soar stronger still…
Seven tips for surviving a season of suffering
1. Spend as much time as you can each day alone with Him and His Word…
So don’t worry and don’t keep saying, ‘What shall we eat, what shall we drink or what shall we wear?! That is what pagans are always looking for; your Heavenly Father knows that you need them all. Set your heart on the kingdom and his goodness, and all these things will come to you as a matter of course.
2. Confess and repent of any sin He reveals. Counseling can help.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The urgent request of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.
3. Abandon to Him and walk patiently through suffering until He has had His perfect way in you…
We are pressured in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed. We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
2 Corinthians 4:8-10
4. Let the dark season bubble up toxins that only He can sweep away, trusting Him.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding.
5. Pray, not for a speedy end to the situation, but for heart purging and soul detox, release that brings serenity…
Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
6. Rest your heart in Him and exhale into the process which may take awhile, trusting His way and knowing that to cut the cleansing short will only mean you will come back to it again and repeat the process.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9
7. Give thanks. Heartfelt thanks in all things. Rejoice over how much He loves you, accepting His discipline as a gift of grace.
Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
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