At thirty-nine years old my wife, Ellen, had heart and kidney failure ... at the brink of her death I found myself begging God to not let her die ... I could not accept her situation or the possibility of her death. Three and a half years later after praying almost daily for her healing ... never giving up ... I found myself again faced with the possibility of her dying.
Driving to work one day ... racked with the agony of thoughts of a world without Ellen ... I began to pray. At once I saw a picture in my mind. In this vision I saw myself standing on a mountain looking down at a valley ... some how I knew it was the valley of the shadow of Ellen's death. As I looked into the vision I saw Jesus come to my side, take my hand, and walk with me into the valley. It was a comforting picture. God was trying to tell me that he would be with me when Ellen died and that I would be ok.
I had peace about her dying but I still would not give in - I couldn’t accept death as God’s will ... I still prayed daily for her healing. It took about six months for acceptance to take hold of me. A month before Ellen died I found myself praying a prayer of both acceptance and release. I released Ellen into His hands and said that whatever He wanted was OK with me. It was one of the toughest prayers that I have ever prayed.
Acceptance. Not my will but Your will be done. Almost trite. The night before he would die a horrible death on a cross Jesus Christ knelt to pray in the garden of Gethsemane. Seeing that the cup of death was near, Jesus prayed “Father, if you are willing take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done”. After that prayer of acceptance in the garden ... accepting the fate of three nails and a cross ... we find that Jesus moved with much strength through a time of great suffering and trial.
Our lesson ... trust is only trust when it involves acceptance of things that we don't understand ... things that fly in the face of our belief system ... in the face of the way we think that things should be ... accepting trouble, as well as good, from the loving hands of God.
Help us Lord to pray that difficult prayer of release and acceptance today lord. Not my will but yours be done.
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