“This is how I’ll finally arrive at that elusive place called acceptance — by watching for, noting, gathering instances of hope and joy in one hand, even while wrestling with my darkest hours in the other. This truth rings loudly in my heart: Good and bad can exist at once. It’s okay to admit that both things are true. My situation is hard and God has been good to me.”- Aubrey Sampson
“Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”- James 1:3-4 (NIV)
Aubrey Sampson concludes Chapter 7 of The Louder Song as she notes that God’s moved to action when He hears our cries. Thus, He’s anything but a passive listener. Rather, God involves Himself. He desires to hear our what-ifs.
Yet, looking back to acknowledge our painful what-ifs might cause some initial anxiety and agony. As a result, we may try to control the uncontrollable. But, while it’s possible for what-ifs to lead us down the ugly road of self-pity, these laments may finally move us forward. Hence, they open our eyes to God’s stream in the desert.
Therefore, Aubrey shares some of her chronic-pain/former-glory ekahs:
- How do I learn to love this bitter, broken version of myself?
- How do I accept the unacceptable?
- O Lord, how long will I look backward in resentment instead of looking upward in gratitude?
In conclusion, the author exhorts, focus on how is blessing you right now rather than lamenting former glory. As author Leslie Leyland Fields once wrote of the Israelites and the temple:
“They don’t know yet that God came not to save his people from storm and suffering, but to save them through storm and suffering. Israel is redeemed. The temple – Jesus himself – is restored.” (emphasis author’s)
So, turn your gaze to Jesus. Because He wants every burden, broken path, and looking back.
Today’s question: What helps you arrive at that elusive place called acceptance? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: Jesus’ presence – when it seems absent”