“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” ~ Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)
The first line in the Serenity Prayer is “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change…” This is a great prayer, for there are many things in life that we cannot change and must simply accept.
Loved ones pass from this life and as much as we want to, we cannot bring them back. We may love someone a great deal, but they may not reciprocate that feeling. We may dislike that we are too short or too tall, but we cannot change our stature. We must simply come to accept these things, and others, and it is certainly wise to pray for serenity in these matters.
The prayer goes on to say, “…courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
I really love the Serenity Prayer but have found there is a “gray area” it does not seem to address…acceptance of the things we can change but to do so would take us out of God’s will.
The best place any of us can ever be is in the center of God’s will. I find that it is much easier to remain in His will when it is a matter that I cannot possibly change. It’s when staying in His will requires a choice on our part (sometimes daily) that things can get tricky.
My insurance career, for instance, is not something I would choose again if I had a “do-over.” God is not coming down from Heaven and stopping me from changing careers. I have found nothing in the Bible that tells me it would be sinful to switch my career. Yet, I believe that where I am employed and what I do for a living is exactly where God wants me right now. It is something I can change, yet I make a conscious choice each day, good or bad, to remain where I am.
God often “speaks” to us concerning His will for our relationships. We may not want to remain in a friendship with someone, yet we feel like it is God’s will for us to keep that person in our life. Or, we may love someone and believe that person is “the one,” only to have God place on our heart that the relationship is not His will.
In these situations it is not necessarily serenity, courage or wisdom that we need most. It is an increase in faith to trust God’s perfect will. It is easy to trust Him when our will is in agreement with His. But, when His will is the opposite of what we may want and we don’t know why, that is when trusting Him can be difficult.
Whether it involves our relationships, our career, or some other area of life, when God reveals His will and it is not necessarily what we want, it is often for reasons we are not yet ready to understand. He gives us just enough of a nudge to feel confident in what His will is, yet not enough revelation to understand why.
We live in the “here and now,” but God is already standing at the end of our life and knows exactly what we need for the journey ahead. While we may not always like it, God’s will and His timing are always perfect.
It is my prayer for everyone this week that when faced with a choice between your way or God’s will, that He grant you an increase in faith to trust that His path is the one to take.