Faced with the death of her dear friend and ministry partner Ponnammal, missionary Amy Carmichael wrote the following:
"It is not by giving us back what He has taken that our Lord teaches us His deepest lessons, but by patiently waiting beside us till we can say: I accept the will of my God as good and acceptable and perfect, for loss or for gain." --Amy Carmichael, Gold Cord
Amy wrote these words in dealing with loss, yet they ring true for so many different situations in life. I had originally written thoughts and a devotional relating to this excerpt a couple of weeks ago, but today all of it was deleted by mistake. I am upset, but I realized it was a test in the very topic of acceptance. I don't feel like writing down everything again, but I must trust that God's will is perfect and that He must have something else He would like me to write instead. So, here goes...
Acceptance is hard. When things happen that we can't control, we want to stop time and start again. We ask why and we question the reasoning behind it; which in essence is questioning God. We refuse to accept because acceptance means to acknowledge that the situation did occur and our lives will never be the same again. What we don't realize is that our refusal to accept is also our refusal to move on. We plant our feet firm in the in between where, in our minds, time stands still refusing to move forward or backward.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)
Acceptance starts with thankfulness and trust. Thankfulness for God's provision in the past and trust in His continued provision in the present and into the future. God's plan are greater than ours and if He is making changes in our life then He must have a purpose for it. When this happens, we need to trust Him and walk in full availability and flexibility along the altered path He's given. Whether we believe it or not, His way is best.
"To accept the will of God never leads to the miserable feeling that it is useless to strive anymore...He asks us to cooperate with Him, actively willing what He wills, our only aim His glory. To accept in this sense is to come with all the desire of the mind unto the place which the Lord shall choose, and to minister in the name of the Lord there..." --Amy Carmichael, Gold by Moonlight
Accepting God's will and moving on in Him, although difficult, never causes regrets or the endless questions of "what if?" Coming to peace with God's instructions and humbling ourselves before Him frees us to move forward in Him and with Him. Moving forward after losing my article was a lot easier than I thought. The new writing shared here is a lot deeper than what was first written. In fact, I have learned more myself. Just the same, moving on after the death of a loved one or other situations opens up opportunities that would not have been possible if events had not happened the way God intended. Acceptance is a huge step to take, but remember, we are not taking it alone. The moment we accept the will of the Father, He reaches out for our hand and says, "OK then, let's move on."