By Chris WittsMonday 24 Feb 2014Morning Devotions with Chris WittsUncategorizedReading Time: 0 minutes
I read of a lady who wrote a letter to a newspaper seeking help. She was desperate and was looking for answers in her own life. I think what she says is typical of how many feel today. Here’s what she said: “I am an intelligent,attractive woman under 40. I have a great career,make good money,own a nice home and new car and wear designer clothes. Everyone loves me because I’m outgoing and funny – so what’s my problem? I don’t enjoy living,and it would be OK with me if I didn’t wake up tomorrow morning”. She had suffered from depression as a younger woman and when her son was born,she was thrilled and enjoyed life. “Now that he is grown,I can’t find a reason to live. I have no success in relationships. I don’t see any point going on -please help me”.
Counsellors and Ministers of religion talk to people like this woman every day. For some,life becomes an emotional and spiritual battle ground. The joy of living has gone,and in its place is a growing feeling of a deep,dark and growing despair. Maybe that’s happened to you. We can take the Bible and read a verse like Psalm 31:24 to them – “Be strong and take heart all you who hope in the Lord”. But it may not help. So,the question is what do you do when it’s hard to have hope?
I think there are some answers here.
Firstly,remember the serenity prayer. Have you heard it? It was written in 1943 many years ago by a minister and seminary professor This prayer was written when the world was spiralling in and out of economic depression and war. and it says “God,grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,the courage to change the things I can,and the wisdom to know the difference”.
The Serenity Prayer demands spiritual effort. “God,grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.” I guess we find it difficult to accept the things we cannot change. We find it extremely challenging to feel serene about some of the things we’ve done in our lives,and there are many things in our lives we cannot change. We cannot change our pasts. We can’t change the mistakes we’ve made. We cannot take back words spoken in the heat of an argument or change the ways that we hurt people we love. Maybe there’s been things you’ve done to others,and we can’t change things others have done to us. But we can make amends and ask for forgiveness; we can also offer forgiveness to others. This prayer has become tremendously popular because it makes senses. It tells us not to waste valuable emotional energy battling with stuff that can not be altered. Our lives can be rebuilt even in difficult situations.
So we pray for serenity and we pray for courage but we also pray for wisdom,the wisdom to know the difference between what we can and what we cannot change. King Solomon had a dream one night and in that dream God told him he could ask for anything he wanted. The one thing Solomon asked for was wisdom. Solomon said,”O God,give me an understanding mind so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between what is right and what is wrong”. ( 1 Kings 3:9) I believe this is one of the most beautiful petitions ever asked of God. “Please give me an understanding mind”,which when literally translated means “a listening heart.” Solomon basically said to God,”I want my heart to listen to You,O Lord,to the internal dialogue that is always going on deep in my heart between you and me.” God granted Solomon his wish. The scriptures tell us that God gave Solomon very great wisdom,discernment,and breadth of understanding as vast as the sand on the seashore. Wouldn’t it be good if we had this kind of wisdom to prevent mistakes and regrets.
I read of a prisoner in jail whose life had been shattered by wrong and costly mistakes. He had time think about his life and wrote this prayer poem.
I was regretting the past
and fearing the future.
Suddenly my Lord was speaking:
“My Name is ‘I Am.'”
The Lord paused,I waited.
The Voice continued:
“When you live in the past
with all its mistakes and regrets,
it is hard. I am not there.
My name is not I Was.
“When you live in the future,
with its problems and fears,
it is hard. I am not there.
My name is not I Will Be.
“When you live in this moment,
it is not hard. I am here.
My name is I AM!”
May God give us His strength to rebuild our lives even in the darkest moments.