Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Growth = Change = Serenity?

God has been teaching me a lot these days. I am being shown many things in my life that are a bit out of place or need to be changed. I am feeling the conviction and the guidance of the Holy Spirit and know God is wanting me to grow, and to grow I must change. I actually like change. I love the idea of moving across an ocean for a time to live somewhere totally different. I have been known to cut 10 inches off my hair without telling a single soul before hand. I resist cooking something I've cooked before - even when I liked it the first time! But when it comes to changing myself, the one person I am actually in control of and able to change, I resist change. I think that is only normal, but I wish I was as willing to change my inside as I am my outside. When I think of the word change, a prayer comes to mind - The Serenity Prayer. I am not really one for rote prayers, preferring to pray my own words to God, but this one has been powerful to me. It has come to be known as a 12-step group prayer said by alcoholics, but that isn't actually it's origin at all. It goes like this:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things that I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

Most people think it ends there, but there is actually more:

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace.
Taking, as He did, this sinful word 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.

But serenity is such an archaic word. What does it mean to be serene? So I looked it up. According to Webster, it is "clear and free from storms or unpleasant change; calm." Yeah, I need that. I need to be calm and clear in the midst of things I cannot change, for they are numerous. I need loads of courage to change the things I can, for they too are numerous. And as for the wisdom to know the difference - God promises me that if I ask him for wisdom, he'll give it to me. Someone once said, "It is God's grace that he doesn't confront me with all my sin at once." It is his grace that takes me to times like this to show me one more layer of things I can change to be more like him. And he is trustworthy! I can trust him to make all things right if I surrender to his will.

I have been reminded the last couple of days of Matthew 6:33, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you." I have spent much time seeking "all these things" and God just wants me to seek him. I cannot do anything about all these things. Only God can change the things outside of me. I have been praying that God would help me to hunger more for him, and he is! I feel so challenged to seek him, and let him take care of the rest. He'll do a better job with it than I would anyway!


Joanna said...

i didn't comment yesterday because i was mad at God; i thought it was pretty darn ironic that i had a tirade at del about how the waiting is killing me here and apparently God likes us in an apartment and he doesn't have anything better for us than this. so i get online and check the blog and here's this post. ok, ok God, i hear you LOUD AND CLEAR. i'm sorry i yelled at you and doubted you.

once again, i am so glad we started this blog. thanks for sharing that because i needed it. interesting that we're going through the same thing with different things.

i'm going to make some pita and hummus because that always makes me feel better.

re: the house. we didn't hear about it for a couple of days. finally last night around 6:30 the realtor called and said that someone else had put a contract on the house before we did. the only problem is that they are having trouble with the financing. our realtor told the bank that she could get them a financing letter for us in half an hour and they said yes, that would be wonderful but we're really ethically obligated to at least give these people a chance. they like our offer and if these other people can't get the letter about financing by monday then they are going to accept our offer. until then, saturday we are going to look at more houses. so that's why i was upset. because we hadn't heard a single thing for 48 hours and i was sure that it was a 'NO' from God and i was really annoyed by that. but now that it's jut a maybe i feel peaceful. del told me that if God says no then he has something better for us. it's the waiting for the something better that's so hard,eh?

Johanna said...

Ah, yes, the waiting game. Don't you just love waiting? But I am glad that my post said something to you. I didn't know if it would, but it is so helpful to me to type things out and see them all together. I've been told that the major benefit about writing things out is that as long as you are going over them and over them in your head, your problem can seem to continue to grow and grow and get way bigger than it is. But when you write about it, eventually you will have written it all out and you will be done. It gives it an ending. I have found that to be so true for me.

I am also so glad for this blog. You are such a special friend to me. I always learn from you and enjoy hearing your words. You are a blessing!