by Trevor Hudson
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardships as the pathway to peace.—The Serenity Prayer
Whenever we find ourselves experiencing difficulties, we need to hold on to one bit of good news. Put very simply, it is this: God is deeply present in all the facets of our lives, even when they are painful. The Bible teaches that there is “one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Eph. 4:6). There is no fear, no loss, no grief, no loneliness, no despair, no addiction, no desolation, no suffering that God does not share in. God is continually present and reaching out to us in whatever we may be going through at this moment. When we know that God is with us, even when our world is falling apart, we are more able to face the pain of situations with hope and courage. ...
[Hardships] are ... where the suffering God draws close to us. God can only bless us where we actually are, especially when we are going through rough times. If we constantly try to escape our pain, we can easily miss the gifts that God wants to bless us with. Gifts like peace and serenity and growth. …
Small Steps toward Acceptance
You may be wondering what this acceptance involves, especially in the light of the particular hardships life may have thrown at you. Does it mean having to accept them with passive resignation by throwing up our hands, doing nothing, and leaving everything to God? Or does it mean something very different? . . . Here are some small steps that may lead us into a deeper acceptance of our hardships as the pathway to peace:
I have not found it easy to write this . . . because I am deeply aware that many of those reading these words are facing almost unbearable hardships. But I do know, from the witness of many courageous people around me, that we can experience God’s presence in moments of deep pain. When we do, we are able to take small steps toward acceptance. Each step is like a candle burning in the dark. It does not take the darkness away, but it guides us through and along the pathway of peace.
From The Serenity Prayer: A Simple Way to Enrich Your Life by Trevor Hudson. Copyright © 2012 by the author. Used with permission of Upper Room Books.