Wednesday, January 02, 2013
by Colleen Swindoll Thompson
There was nothing simple about my friend’s situation. One of her three sons was diagnosed with severe autism at age 11; his world and his parents’ world flipped upside down. For reasons only the Lord knows, his behaviors became aggressive, dangerous, and terrifying. For over a year they tried everything, prayed, tried more of everything, and then prayed more. Nothing worked. For everyone’s safety, they had to place their son in a special home. What parent would ever expect to face such a choice?
Their experience happened years ago, and the grass is now much greener around their home. By God’s grace and direction, they found a wonderful home specifically suited for such grave challenges. It is a miraculous story. At the time, nothing miraculous could be seen. In the grief of it all, one pivotal decision made all the difference.
It was the decision to accept what God had allowed.
- In acceptance, there is surrender—a letting go that swallows up grief and sorrow.
- Acceptance means we take responsibility for what is happening, pray harder than ever, and listen for God’s direction.
- Acceptance is a significant part of faith.
- Acceptance is the giving up of the right to have your questions answered by God.
- Acceptance is the giving up any attempt to get God’s stamp of approval on your 10-year life-plan.
Many unknowns remain as believers seek God’s direction, choose to make wise decisions, and trust Him with the ragged edges of life.
One author writes:
It’s in grief’s darkest hours when
We really need to know
That only in acceptance can
New hope begin to grow.
Acceptance when it finally comes
Begins to bring relief
As healing hope renews our souls
And strengthens our belief—
Light can emerge from darkness when
Acceptance shows its face,
As we allow ourselves to heal
Through God’s own love and grace.¹
God’s Grace Is Sufficient
I’m guessing my friend is not the only person who has had to accept an apparently impossible challenge. She tried everything, and even prayer didn’t seem to move God into action—until she accepted her circumstances and let go. God waits for us to let go, to accept what’s happening, to stop and listen for His direction, and to follow His lead by faith.
If you could see my friend’s family today, you would be amazed. Her son, now almost 20, is happy and settled in his home. Her husband and two other boys are enjoying family life as they never expected. They chose to walk by faith, and God’s grace continues to be sufficient.
Hope from God’s Word
Here are some verses that help me to accept difficulty and trust God.
He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV)
My soul, wait silently for God alone,
For my expectation is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation;
He is my defense;
I shall not be moved.
In God is my salvation and my glory;
The rock of my strength,
And my refuge, is in God. (Psalm 62:5–7 NKJV)
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,
Nor will the flame burn you.” (Isaiah 43:2)
Let Me Hear from You
If you make the choice to accept something you have been fighting, will you let me know? I would love to hear from you and pray for you in the weeks and months ahead. Because of faith, this year could change your life.
1. Hilda Lachney Sanderson, “Acceptance,” in Comfort Prayers, ed. June Cotner Graves (Kansas City, Mo.: Andrews McMeel, 2004), 49.