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What Acceptance Is and Is Not

What Acceptance Is and Is Not
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“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Proverbs 3:5-6

Sometimes it takes a while for me to accept difficult or new circumstances. This comes from fear. I am afraid acceptance means giving up. I am afraid it means weakness or approval of the situation. I fear commitment, work, or sacrifice may lie ahead if I choose acceptance. So I push back—exhausting myself emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

There are many realities about my life and the world I cannot change, such as Covid-19. It has altered almost everything that felt normal. However, I can’t make it go away by refusing to accept the changes. I often surrender to anger, fear, and restlessness, despite my best intentions. It is normal to have these emotions, but I do not have to be controlled by them. 

God offers me freedom and peace through acceptance—through trusting Him. Accepting the reality of the global pandemic and an unknown future—this does not mean I am giving up on what I had planned. It may mean my desires for the future will happen differently than I imagined. It does not mean they will never happen. Acceptance means learning a greater degree of flexibility and trust — things that will serve me well as I follow Christ in this world.

Acceptance does not mean weakness. It can actually mean strength and wisdom. Acceptance means finding courage to continue— even in unexpected circumstances. I am free to find meaningful, real ways to grow and thrive in a new reality.

Accepting the pandemic as an indefinite part of life does not mean I am okay with it. I will not stop trying to keep others and myself healthy. I should not stop praying for solutions or showing support to those developing treatments. I should show appreciation to healthcare workers who are putting in so much time to help. Acceptance doesn’t mean I approve of a terrible worldwide tragedy. It means even though this is happening, I continue to encourage and support however I can.

Acceptance is trusting the Source of Life. He sees the events of my time and all of time. He offers enduring peace and rest, despite my changing emotions and upheaval in the world. I can take every step with Him in trust, through every blessing and challenge that comes my way.

Closing Prayer
Creator, when I am presented with new circumstances, I think it is normal for me to work through a process of acceptance and trust. I am human. You know this. Thank you for walking with me as I grow and learn. Thank you for the process of sanctification. You lovingly and patiently work through life’s circumstances to conform me to the image of your Son. You take great delight in me. Amen.
Question for Reflection

Is God disappointed or surprised by my struggle to accept new or difficult circumstances?

Chrissy Winslow
August 05, 2022

God is not surprised when I struggle with something. He is not disappointed that I do not respond perfectly every time I am presented with something new or difficult. He knows me inside and out and is lovingly working through the circumstances in my life to help me grow and learn. He is helping me know how to accept His sovereignty and trust His love.