I mentioned in a previous post that I often find, as I read and study, all sorts of things that I randomly select seem to support the same theme. I see that as God’s providence and guidance. Acceptance is an idea that I’ve been noticing often lately. A book I read, “The Woman Who Cracked the Anxiety Code” is a biography of Dr. Claire Weekes (1903-1990). Dr. Weekes, an Australian psychiatrist developed a unique way of coping with what she called “nerves.” The cure was simply acceptance: notice how you’re feeling, and don’t fight it. Eventually the anxious, panicky feelings will subside. She wrote a number of popular books about her approach, which helped many people.
The book I’m currently reading about grief (The Grieving Brain) also advocates acceptance in dealing with loss.
“The key to accepting is not doing anything with what you are experiencing; not asking what your feelings mean, or how long they will last…. It is about noticing how it feels at that moment, letting your tears come and letting them go. Knowing that the moment of grief will overwhelm you….and knowing that it will recede.”
The Psalms are a great place to see this process in action. In many of the Psalms, the writer describes feelings of anguish — anger, grief, fear. There is no holding back. However, often by the end, the wave of emotion passes, and what is left is acceptance and hope. As Christians we are so fortunate to know that God is in control. Like Job, we realize that we cannot understand His purposes, for God Himself tells us:
“… my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
What we do know is that we can trust Him. Expressing our emotions and then accepting our situation will calm our anxieties, allay our anger, and blunt our grief. It will give us peace.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. “Proverbs 3:5-6
For more about peace see: