by Niki Turner
From a writing standpoint, I'm reminded of this principle frequently. I edit copy for a small-town weekly newspaper. Over the past decade or so, I've come to the conclusion that there are two kinds of writers... writers who think they can, and writers who think they can't. Surprisingly, it's the writers who think they can't who are the easiest to work with. Why? Because they are open to suggestions and willing to make changes to improve their work. What they produce initially might not be perfect, but because they are willing to accept the fact they aren't "all that," it's easy to help them improve.
Which leads me to believe the same is true in our relationship with our heavenly editor, the Holy Spirit. When we practice acceptance—of ourselves, of others, of situations—we open a dialogue through which the Spirit of the Living God can work with us, direct us, correct us, and guide us into excellence.
Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for
"God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble."
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:5-7 NKJV
For me personally, that means less time spent rebuking things in prayer, and more time spent asking "how can I make the best of this situation as it stands?"
I see this principle in practice in the fifth chapter of John, when Jesus comes upon the crippled man at the pool of Bethesda. Now, before you read, realize that we are ALL, in some way, the crippled man, the individual who is unable to move forward, unable to change his situation...
"Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie — the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to get well?"The question Jesus asked of the crippled man is the question I think He is asking us all in whatever hindering situation we find ourselves... "Do you want to get well?" Unfortunately, the invalid's response, an excuse, is all too often our response, as well.
"Sir," the invalid replied, "I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me."
Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
John 5:2-9 NIV
What was Jesus' answer? He told the crippled man to suck it up, or more literally, to pick it up and move on. For that invalid, picking up his mat, which represented all his excuses, all his weaknesses, all his shortcomings and failures and inability (talk about an identity crisis!) was a tangible statement of acceptance... not just accepting his weaknesses, but more importantly, accepting God's supernatural assistance. From that point of acceptance, he got up and walked away.
What is it you need to accept, in order to receive God's help?