Thinking about the “serenity prayer” …
God grant me the serenity to accept what I can’t control; the courage to change what I can…
It seems like God doesn’t “play fair.” When I go ahead and get up the courage to change what I can, but things I can’t control are still so bad that it seems like nothing I can do is right. Especially if I’m mourning the loss of someone – who but God could have controlled that? Where is the comfort Jesus said those who are mourning would receive?
My temptation is to conclude that God isn’t holding up His end of the deal, because how can I “serenely accept” something that’s anywhere from annoying to destructive to heart breaking? Or things that are “completely wrong” by anyone’s viewpoint?
So that challenges me to believe that when I persevere and get through whatever it is that’s going on now, that will give me experiences that will be valuable in helping me through times of future troubles. It took me a long time to really start to believe this, but after a while I can look back at the times I was hurting or feeling mistreated and see what perspective on life and love and “need for love” it gave me. Not to mention the empathy it enables me to have for others who may in some sort of pain now, that I have been in the past.
“Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
The other challenge is to believe and “know” from my heart, that my favorite verse is true:
We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.