Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Accepting What We Can’t Change

Dear Friends,

Some years ago, I heard a well-known Christian leader talking about his eldest son, who had a heart condition.  The young man was suddenly taken seriously ill at college and was rushed to the hospital.  As the parents sped toward the emergency room, the father said to his wife, “Pray hard; maybe God will be good and our boy will live.”  His wife replied, “Isn’t God good if he dies?”  That world-renowned Christian leader spoke quietly about the affirmation of faith in God’s character and about ways that he was made anew at that moment of personal crisis.  “God is good,” he said to his wife, “whether our boy lives or dies.”  The boy died, but his parents were able to say with Job, “The Lord gave me everything I had, and they were his to take away.  Blessed by the name of the Lord.”

When we accept that the “unacceptable” has come to us with the full knowledge and permission of a God of integrity, we can stop trying to push the trouble away.  The sooner we can accept what we cannot change, the sooner we are ready to experience the peace and healing that we need.

When I was young, I used to play with caterpillars.  There were cute little ones and ugly ones and furry ones and smooth ones.  Such variety!  But they all had one thing in common: They all formed a chrysalis and spent time becoming a beautiful butterfly. When the time came, the struggle would begin as the little bug fought its way out into the world, a new creature.

One day I saw one little chrysalis jumping around on the tray.  I felt so sorry for the little bug inside its “prison,” obviously wanting to escape, and I wanted to help.  So, running to the house, I found a pair of scissors and carefully cut off the top of the chrysalis to help it out.  When the bug popped out, I discovered by mistake.  Its wings were deformed, and it was colorless!

How was I to know the color came into the little thing’s wings in the triumph of the struggle?  How was I to know that it took the deathly struggle to release the wings in order for the little bug to soar above the earth that had been its natural habitat?  When I have been unable to save my children the hard things in life, I have observed that in the struggle the color of their Christian character has come into their wings, and they have risen above their dire dilemmas.

It’s through our tragedies that we become like gold.  And it’s often in the things that we fear that anchors us to Christ.


Jill Briscoe
Executive Editor
Just Between Us Magazine


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1 comment:

  1. Thanks you so much for your kind comment on my post about light overcoming darkness. I loved your story about the butterfly, how the struggle is what makes it beautiful. I pray God makes me better, not bitter, when I go through times of struggle