In Acceptance Lieth Peace

I was reminded of this poem yesterday, and recommended it to a friend.  Thought I might as well share it here.  It is written by Amy Carmichael and has been used  on more than one occasion to bring clarity and peace to a situation/test/trial I was in, and has blessed me tremendously.  I hope it does the same for you.

In Acceptance Lieth Peace

He said, ‘I will forget the dying faces;
The empty places,
They shall be filled again.
O voices moaning deep within me, cease.’
But vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in forgetting lieth peace.

He said, ‘I will crowd action upon action,
The strife of faction
Shall stir me and sustain;
O tears that drown the fire of manhood cease.’
But vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in endeavour lieth peace.

He said, ‘I will withdraw me and be quiet,
Why meddle in life’s riot?
Shut be my door to pain.
Desire, thou dost befool me, thou shalt cease.’
But vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in aloofness lieth peace.

He said, ‘I will submit; I am defeated.
God hath depleted
My life of its rich gain.
O futile murmurings, why will ye not cease?’
But vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in submission lieth peace.

He said, ‘I will accept the breaking sorrow
Which God tomorrow
Will to His son explain.’
Then did the turmoil deep within me cease.
Not vain the word, not vain;
For in Acceptance lieth peace.

Isn’t it awesome…and so right on the mark?  I just love it.  When I went to look for it to share on my blog, I found another, with the same title.  Ya think MAYBE God is trying to tell me something?

In Acceptance Lieth Peace

In acceptance lieth peace,
O my heart be still;
Let thy restless worries cease
And accept His will.
Though this test be not thy choice,
It is His—therefore rejoice.

In His plan there cannot be
Aught to make thee sad:
If this is His choice for thee,
Take it and be glad.
Make from it some lovely thing
To the glory of thy King.

Cease from sighs and murmuring,
Sing His loving grace,
This thing means thy furthering
To a wealthy place.
From thy fears He’ll give release,
In acceptance lieth peace.

—Hannah Hurnard

Shake it off

I am so proud of my adult kids, and the job they are doing as parents.  Between them, they have three little girls, and to have them altogether in one place is truly a joy.  They have a little ritual for boo-boos.  If one of them should fall down or otherwise hurt themselves, they will come to Momma or Daddy (or Grammy, *SMILE*) and say “owie”.  They want a kiss, and as soon as Momma or Daddy acknowledges their pain, and kisses it better, they will say “now shake it off”…at which point, these girls do the cutest little wiggle, and shake off the pain….then continue on to their play, or whatever it was they were involved in prior.

I love this little ritual, and find myself doing something similar in my prayers, taking the Lord my “owies”, hurts and offenses, and knowing that He hears and answers, I feel His affirmation, and his encouragement to “now, shake it off…put it away from you, I’ve got this.”

On Suffering – 3

…the measure of every man’s virtue is best revealed in time of adversity — adversity that does not weaken a man but rather shows what he is.  ~The Imitation of Christ by Thomas aKempis

We know what it is, we are beginning to understand why we are called to suffer, but do we understand how?  Is there a formula for suffering well?

First, I think it’s important to address what it does not mean to suffer well.  It doesn’t mean a stoic absence of emotion.  It’s not a holy “sucking it up” and getting over it.  Tears are perfectly legitimate, as is  verbalizing to God how we feel:

This hurts!

I feel vulnerable/embarrassed/humiliated.

It’s too heavy…I can’t do this…I need help.

I don’t like this.

Why?

How much longer?

Where are you?

Suffering well is not passive.  You can’t crawl back under your covers until the trial has passed, ignore it, or will it away.  It doesn’t work like that.   For an excellent example of this, check out Psalm 88.  This is not a quiet, passive, peaceful suffering; neither is it quiet resignation. But check it out, in the middle of the complaints, questions, and tears, there is prayer.  He knows where his help comes from; he addresses that Help in the first verse here “O Lord, God of my salvation”.  He recognizes the hand of God in his suffering, and even though he doesn’t understand, as he cries out in desperation “why?”, there he is “every morning” and “every day”, approaching the God of His help in prayer.  I can relate to this, can you?  I go through periods where God is silent, I don’t feel His presence, I feel alone, forgotten and burdened.

It’s easy to be distracted by the pain of the burden, but in learning to suffer well, you learn how to offer up that pain to the Lord, and join Him in his sufferings.  Remember, “He suffered, died and was buried”.  We can–are encouraged to, in fact– join Jesus, or “go to him” in his suffering, and bear the same abuse he endured.  Check it out:

Hebrews 13:12 Therefore Jesus also suffered outside the city gate in order to sanctify the people by his own blood.

13 Let us then go to him outside the camp and bear the abuse he endured.

14 For here we have no lasting city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.

15 Through him, then, let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name.

16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

And I love the practical application.  Not only is there an exhortation, but a “how to”–

by the fruit of lips

offer up a sacrifice of praise

do good and share

...I know why it’s called a “sacrifice” of praise.  Because when I’m in the “depths of despair”, the last thing my natural person wants to do is to praise.  I have to give up my natural, selfish desires…and offer a sacrifice of praise.

I don’t want to sing, I want to cry.

I don’t want to be thankful, I want to complain.

I don’t want to think of others, I want to pull the blankets back over my head and feel sorry for myself.

But I believe that suffering is active.  And honestly, before God as my witness, deep down, in the Spirit that He has placed in me, is a strong desire to follow Jesus.  And His own words echo in my soul, that if that’s what I really want, then I need to deny myself, take up my cross and follow Him.  We hoist that cross…whatever that cross may be, whether it is physical or emotional, financial, or relational…up on our backs and carry it, willingly.  The road may  not be a short one, it may be one that takes years to walk, and the cross is heavy.

But we are not alone.  We are united to Him in His suffering.  We are carrying His cross with Him.  We are imitating and becoming one with Him in His sorrows and sufferings.  In knowing this, we can offer up our sufferings, cries, complaints and selfish desires to Him by the fruit of our lips, in praise to Him, and in doing good to others.

********

I thought I had finished this post, but as I do with many of my pieces, I scheduled this so I could sleep on it, so to speak.  Often, I will publish a post and afterwards think “Oh, I should have included thus and such”, and the thought itself is not enough for a blog post, so it is not really included.  By waiting, I can work in those stray thoughts and new examples.  This happened with this post, when I read 8 kids and a businness’ post on Tuesday.  She brings up a couple excellent examples of suffering well.

In many people’s eyes, committing assisted suicide is a brave choice.  What I see as brave is the elderly woman with a chronic debilitating disease who cries out in pain at something so simple as having her leg lifted but she tells the nurse to lift it anyway.  She fights for a dignified life each day.  What’s brave is the person whose body, ravaged by cancer, is unrecognizable even to family members.  In her lucid moments she continues to offer up to God her pain and suffering.  Brave is the family of the terminally ill child who lovingly minister to his needs until his final breath.  Brave is the family of a disabled child who sacrifice finances, time and career in order to provide the best quality-of-life for their child.

Read the rest for yourself, it is so good, and a message we need to hear today.

This post was edited to add links to my other posts about suffering.

Of Suffering

On Suffering – 2

21 Words for Suffering

Things overheard in an airport

laughter

“No, no, baby…you gotta stay here with Momma…sit right here, no, come back here…do you want a cookie?”

“How may I help you?”

“It’s cruel to travel all day with young children”

“It will be interesting to see all the good things that come from this.” (funny, this was one end of a telephone conversation in the seat behind me…I could have said the same thing after today.)

“I didn’t know he drove a Mustang, who drives a Mustang?”

Tiny Asian lady (with strong Asian accent) waving her arms like an Italian, directing people through security.  She only stood about 4 and a half feet tall, but boy did she pack the personality!

Workman in hardhat, talking on telephone “yeah.  uh-huh.  yep.  okay, yeah.  I need to let you go, I love you”  Me thinks he was talking to his wife 😉

“are you okay?” “Yeah!”  “you paid, what?  Six dollars?”

“anyways, moral of the story…hehehe”

“Like, I don’t see a resemblance at all…well, maybe the nose…maybe”

“He gonna party like it Nineteen Ninety Nine, hahaha”

“When we all get here on the 15th, we’re all gonna need my bottle of excedrin, and I know we won’t have enough”

“May I have your attention please.  An emergency has been reported in the building.  While this is being verified, please stand by for further instructions” complete with loud emergency siren and flashing strobes, egads.  Night cleaners and construction workers carry on like it’s unimportant.  I’ve been standing by and haven’t been given any further instructions, so I am assuming we are not being bombed or burning down.  It would be nice for them to say “this is a test” if that’s all it was.

Live blog 3

I am so tired.

I slept for about an hour, but I did not rest.

I woke up to telephone conversations on either side of me, mingling into one mixed up story in my head, lol.  Once I was awake, I became aware of a situation over at Customer Service, there was a very angry man (possibly drunk or on drugs…or maybe just overtired like me).  I thought at a couple points he was going to slug the service rep.  He finally demanded to have the reps name, at which point he became enraged, claiming the rep swore obscenities at him.  He finally stormed off shouting the F word, and security showed up a few minutes later.

I can’t imagine what set him off, but he didn’t feel he was getting what he needed from customer service, and I couldn’t hear what they said to him, but I pray to God they didn’t drop the F bomb at him like he claimed.  What an unhappy person.

Going to try to sleep again…appreciate the prayers 🙂

 

Live Blog 2

Watching the third flight come and go since we got here.

Grins and scowls

Harried and hurried, stressed out and worried,  happy-go-lucky, take it as it comes

Extroverted chatter, quick glances and shy smiles

All the colors of the rainbow, lol.  Red, yellow, black and white

Short and tall, thin and full, elder and younger

Familiar personalities, yet strangers still.

 

 

Live blog #1

We will sleep in shifts.  My daughter took a nap, and while she slept, I scoped out the place the best I could from my vantage point.  I found several outlets (that she had told me there were none of), one just one row over.  As soon as she woke up, we moved all our stuff over there and plugged in…this way she can charge her phone and I can blog and play on facebook.

I said I’ve so far seen a couple or three “familiar faces” here.  Right now, I’m on the verge of tears, because sitting right across from me is a sweet middle-aged couple who remind me so much of my own parents.  The man is a hefty man with a deep voice, and a kind smile.  Every once in awhile, we make eye contact, then look away awkwardly.  I wonder who I remind him of.

His wife just joined him, put on her readers and pulled out her tablet.  I am sure that if Mom had lived to now, she would have one of these and play her games while she waited for her flight.

 

 

Live blogging Prelude

May 1.

We got up at 3am, got showers and coffee, then loaded up the car to head out for our flight to the Northwest.  All was
perfectly on track, until about halfway there, traffic stopped.

Prayers commenced.

Traffic was at a standstill for 90 minutes,

Tears commenced….prayers continued…a little more desperate now.

See, I’ve been planning, and pining, and waiting for this day.  I get to fly to my daughter’s home to assist her and my daughter in law who are both delivering babies this month.  I haven’t seen them for two years, two of my grandchildren, I haven’t even met yet, and the other was just a tiny infant when we told them goodbye and headed for Canada.

After a gruelling 90 minutes, traffic cleared, and by breaking the speed limit, we were able to make the airport with about 40 minutes to departure time.

IN OUR DREAMS.

But, hope springs eternal, and we gave it our all.

Security was PAINFULLY slow.  I have never in my life seen so many people who cannot follow simple directions! Mommas, please, teach your children how to listen…and how to do what they are told, they may need it one day.  There were about 200 people going through security at the same time as we, and for some reason all the other lines were clicking through quickly and relatively painlessly, except ours.  One hold up after another.

Finally made it through security and made a run for our departure gate.

We missed it by five minutes.  The plane was gone, and we were directed to Customer Service.

More tears…followed by a deep peace, and words ringing echoing through my mind that I didn’t put there, but they brought comfort, nonetheless.  “Jesus, I trust in you”

Anita at customer service tried to reroute us same day, but each attempt was met with no empty seats on one connecting
flight or another.  On to Plan B.  We are camping out in the airport…but before you feel too sorry for me, keep in mind,
one of my favoritest things to do is to watch/study people…and what better place to do so, than an airport.  So far,
I’ve seen the double for my daughter’s father-in-law, and an elderly version of a former boss of mine, who, incidentally
appears to be married to the husband of one of my dear Invisible friends.  I feel like I’m in the twilight zone, lol.

Stay tuned, I’m sure there will be some fun stuff.