Sunday, June 21, 2015

A Door in the Wall

"Some humble grow at last and still
And then God gives them what they will."
--George MacDonald

"In acceptance lieth peace."
--Amy Carmichael

It would work out perfectly; I could just see it in my mind's little eye--

My almost-two-year-old would sit cozily in my lap on the glider, attentive and cooperative. 

I would put my two-month-old in the baby swing right next to us; he would enjoy listening, too, and then cheerfully fall asleep while my voice droned on and on, a picture of contentment and baby bliss. 

Ten minutes later, the two-year-old squirming and whining, the two-month-old wide awake and wailing and I sitting all-forlorn with a book in my hand -- so I think, what went wrong? 

And I feel frustrated after the long morning and I'm over-tired and the tears well up--

And secretly--oh-so-secretly, I am upset (angry?) at God in this little event because He didn't allow things to go the way that I planned them. Wasn't it a good plan? Isn't it good to read books to my daughter? He wants me to be orderly and to have a schedule and to enrich my babies' lives, now doesn't He? 

And so I'm frustrated -- and I think, I should just give up. 

I think and I pout and I sigh and I listen to my babies'  wailing--

And then, by God's grace, I don't give up. 

I pray and I take my babies and we sit on the floor, one in my lap and one beside me and we read on the floor, and it works. 

Maybe not in the most comfortable way, maybe not in the way that I had planned it, but it works--

And my two-year-old is read to and my two-month-old is comforted and we go on. 

I accept the situation that God has handed me in His wisdom and we go on.  

The Lord has been teaching me something -- day in and day out -- teaching me something--

I haven't learned it (honestly) yet, but I want to--

Bringing that old Amy Carmichael poem to my mind -- many times--

Convicting me through it, placing it in my thoughts . . . 

That "in acceptance lieth peace."

There are situations in life that I have no control over, situations that to every appearance seem like "dead-end" streets, with nowhere to go and no way out. 

But they aren't, and like Marguerite DeAngelis speaks in the book that my sister urged me to read, there is a door in the wall. 

A door in the wall . . . an opening of grace at the acceptable time, when God in His wisdom deems it so, a door in the wall that seems so ominous and blank and unmoveable. 

A door in the wall. 

That will open. 

I have a choice. 

I can go through life, through each day as George MacDonald says, moaning and raving and scorning and frustrated that things are not going the way I want them to in the timing that I want them to be performed in, 

Or I can accept. 

Accept God's timing--that after I've worried and waited and prayed for a yes-right-now- accept His sovereignty--

The sovereignty of His love. 

"In acceptance lieth peace," a true peace, peace of the soul, though sometimes I'm loath to admit it. 

And I'm not talking about jellyfish-resignation, about giving up -- but about steel-determined acceptance of God's will for my life in the now -- in what He is handing me today. 

After the struggle, the acceptance comes. 

Then peace.

And the door in the wall opens. 

To read Amy Carmichael's poem, click here

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  1. I love this post...such a wonderful metaphor...a door in the wall opens...and Amy Carmichael's quote she had on a plaque above her bed..."in acceptance lieth peace" comforting...many blessings to you!

    1. Thank you, Beth! Amy Carmichael's words have brought me so much comfort over the years (many times through tears!) Blessings to you, also!

  2. Peace may lie in acceptance - and the poem is lovely - but I wasn't bred for peace. God made me an instrument of His will, in the manner of the first verse of Psalm 144.

    Right now, the odds of serious - well, terminal, they say - illness are against me, and there are those - some quite close - who say I should relax into its embrace.

    No way. I'm made for the fight, and the harder the fight, the uglier it gets...the better I do. And perhaps this IS my acceptance, the acceptance of what I am.

    1. Andrew, thank you for sharing that verse with me . . . It is definitely not wrong to "fight" against sin or the consequences of sin in our world (disease, death, etc.). Francis Schaeffer comes to mind, who battled against his terminal cancer with every ounce of his strength--he believed that Satan was trying to silence him and Schaeffer would use every means possible to "defeat" one of the effects of sin in the world--disease. It is certainly not wrong to take medicine, pray for healing, do everything possible to get well when we are sick.

      I'm not talking about a blind acceptance of whatever comes into our lives--whether you or I believe that God allows or ordains it (or both). But after we have prayed, fasted, struggled, pleaded, wept, to say to the Lord in humility before the Sovereignty of His love--"Thy will be done." And whatever Your will means for my life, whatever will bring glory to You, I accept. I pour my life out as an offering to You, and as Paul said, whether he lived or died, Christ would be glorified in his body.

      For me, Andrew, I know that I have to come to the place that Jesus came to in the Garden, when He asked the Father to let the cup pass from Him, but then utterly accepted the Father's will (which was also, in a mystery, His will, as He is one with the Father).

      Whenever I have come to that place in my life, I have found freedom and peace--when I truly "want" His will, even if it is painful, or I have to pass through the valley of the shadow.

      There are different situations, and the Lord allows different circumstances in our lives--whatever will draw us to Himself--I have experienced some very difficult times in my own life that have brought me to this understanding--and I still struggle all the time. I have never struggled with a terminal illness--and I will not pretend to understand what you must be going through--the Lord alone knows your struggle and the burden that He carries with you. But I do know that whatever the Lord's will is for you personally, His grace will sustain you there. And He will be glorified--whether it is by walking with you through the valley or through healing you .

      I am glad that you shared with me from your heart . . . may the Lord be Your Shield and your Protection and your constant joy, Andrew . . . and may clouds of mercy break over you.

  3. Amen! Acceptance seems easy at first glance but not when it goes against our plans and our schedule. I love the door in the wall reference and how it is grace. That image will stick with me a long time. Praying that we all throw away our schedules and choose acceptance that comes from God as the timing that will always be perfect in our lives. Blessed to be visiting you from Wedded Wednesday.

    1. Yes, Mary, praying that, too! We truly find such grace when we accept His will for us--sometimes through great agony, depending on the situation.

      Blessings to you, Mary; have a wonderful week. :-)

  4. this is a beautiful and encouraging post.

  5. What hope is in this! When we come to peace with where we are at... it is then that the Lord can open the doors we cannot see! Beautiful writing, may the Lord continue to bless your heart for Him!

    1. Thank you; yes, truly, when we come to that place in our lives, His "hidden" doors begin to open. He is such a merciful Father! God bless you!

  6. Thank you so much Rebekah for sharing this with us at Good Morning Mondays. God's plans are perfect and His peace is just awesome. Thank you for this encouraging post. Blessings

    1. Yes, that is true, Terri! Blessings to you, also! :-)