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03-31-12 (Full Acceptance)  Stephanie McIver
 Mar 31, 2012 07:48 PST 

Steph’s Stuff
(Full Acceptance)

All this praying! Oh my soul! As it becomes more and more natural, the
tempo increases. The thoughts are transformed—much faster than before.
The bitterness is quickly vanquished, instead of just being held at bay.
The freedom of living one day at a time brings a peace that I’ve never
experienced in such fullness ever before.

That said, I still blow it on a pretty regular basis. I’m old. I have
a lot of bad habits to overcome—but I’M not the one overcoming them!
I’m resting in His arms and anticipating His brilliance to overcome my
b.s. (Sorry, couldn’t think of another way to put it…).

How many times in your life have you purposely, willfully and resolutely
set out to hurt someone? The answer may lie in the story that precedes
that decision. Those stories have fueled my wrath, defensiveness and
indignation on so many occasions. He has been gracious enough to show
me that I’m not alone in those stories. Lots of women can relate to the
painful facts of my life—and He tells me that I am one who will help
them to see Him in those circumstances, showing His faithfulness and
helping me to make decisions that won’t bring yet another poor decision
on how I will spend my time—and who I will spend that time with. Those
‘angels of light’ I ran to in the past don’t look quite so radiant
anymore. As I recognize the rusty tin under the ‘gold’ I can walk away
before they draw me in.

But it still feels weird.

Today, I’m grasping His hand tightly. I’m still waiting to see how one
of my most fervent prayers will be answered. The enemy reminds me of
past experiences. He tells me the situation is impossible. Others who
know the circumstances tell me the situation is impossible. But my God
tells me to wait on Him. He tells me to fill my thoughts with Him, to
seek out others who will encourage me in Him and to stand firm, so
caught up in what is going on right now that when His answer DOES come,
it will take me with a surprise that will fill me with even more resolve
to look to Him as we walk this path together.

“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ
Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.” 1
Timothy 1:15 (NIV)

Full acceptance of a simple statement. CHRIST came to save SINNERS—of
whom I am the worst! Oh I might have fooled you. I look pretty
harmless. Old lady. Sings with the choir. Writes a devotional every
day. Loves unreservedly and serves those she loves sacrificially. All
those things are true. But He knows the dark thoughts and the past
sins. He knows how often I forget to call on Him and go to the old
distractions. He knows how often I remind HIM of how ‘good’ I am. “Why
me, Lord? I try so hard! I do so much! When will that be
recognized—and rewarded?!”

And then I realize what I’m saying. Who I’m talking to—and just how
MUCH He can relate to those thoughts, coming from an old lady, hymn
singing, devotional writing SINNER! I’ve got NOTHING on Him—and any
good at all doesn’t come from ME—but from HIM! When will HE be
recognized and rewarded?

Right now. Right here I acknowledge Him. I will continue to call on
Him, as often as I can, in my human imperfection. My prayer changes.
Instead of ‘poor me’ I will concentrate on His blessings and let go of
the things that have continued to plague me. He is bigger than all of
them—and He is certainly bigger than me! He’s gotten hold of me and
guided me. He’s cleaned up a lot of messes and put out a lot of fires.
The best is yet to come.

It’s hard to take it all in—but the key is FULL acceptance that He is
the answer to everything, because He gave everything for me—and you. As
I enter a week where I will prepare to SING His praises before thousands
of people at the Easter choir concerts—(Full orchestra rehearsal this
week—YAY!) I will give thanks for the opportunity to fill my sails with
the power of the Holy Spirit.

Its not about marshmallow peeps and stuffed bunnies. It’s about full
acceptance that He paid the PRICE and He ROSE!

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