My wife, Marianne, wrote this. Where I am vision and logic, she is feeling and heart. The Lord speaks to us in very different ways, and we have learned to passionately value those differences.
Anyway, I think this was for both of us, and maybe it will speak to you too as the first of hopefully many devotionals from her.
As I was in the midst of an intense struggle over some situations in my life, the Lord spoke to my spirit: “Acceptance with joy.”
I responded, “Lord, I don’t even know what it is that I am to accept, but whatever it is, there certainly is no joy.”
For me, it became pray, pray, pray: I cried my heart out in hopes that somehow He would let me see what He wanted.
With me, the Lord speaks in pictures, and the picture He showed me was not encouraging.
I saw about two inches of dark, rich topsoil over deep, SOLID rock. I had a shovel.
I asked the Lord to pulverize the rock because the rock made it impossible to dig with only a shovel. Amazingly (but not really amazing), the Lord did exactly what I prayed.
At first, I was surprised. Then excitement grew because once again He heard my heart.
I am continuously astonished at how God miraculously can take our anguish and do something awesome – ashes to beauty.
To me, acceptance with joy starts with small, attempting-to-be-obedient, steps.
I still don’t have all the answers in how to accomplish this, but I believe it is a continuing journey.
Let us walk faithfully.