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Wading Towards Acceptance
By Kay Brown

Last month, I suddenly found something interesting at the bottom of a local creek bed – myself! The doctor had just diagnosed me with pre-pneumonia (whatever that is) and I was groggily driving home to my children that early spring evening. As I rounded the top of the ridge that drops into our little rural valley, several inches of hail and slush unexpectedly and inexplicably coated the previously clear pavement. Yipes!

My heavy vehicle began an uncontrollable skid, weaved all over the highway and narrowly missed an oncoming pickup. Finally, I left the road, crossed an embankment and quite literally sailed, nose first, into the bottom of a deep stream that serves as an irrigation canal about 75 feet from the street. I slammed into the water. Interestingly, there were no tire tracks into the stream.

I caught air.

No one had seen my disappearance and picturing the car blowing up as on an old episode of "Dukes of Hazard," I decided I should get out of the car. My overwhelming thought was, "I can’t believe this, Lord. I can’t believe this…" as I released my seatbelt and fell into the steering wheel. I got the door open and realized there were only three feet of water running beneath my feet. Grabbing my purse and the precious bottle of antibiotics I had just been given, I futilely tried crawling up the muddy bank as hail pelted my head and shoulders.

Coughing furiously and crying just as hard, I eventually made my way back to the highway and the first car that stopped held a sweet lady that ‘happened’ to be a registered nurse. The police came. My worried husband showed up. I came home to a hot bath and a bunch of impressed children.

I had never ‘caught air’ before.

Other than a few bruised ribs, my body remained intact. My spirit took quite a beating, however. Instead of being grateful to be alive, like a real dope, I whined and complained about having my plans changed for the next couple of months. Without a reliable vehicle, I could not travel. Without clear lungs, I could not live my normal life. Moreover, without a grateful attitude, I could not pray.

My precious husband, my children and my church family all pitched in while I lay in bed and coughed for several weeks. During that time, I alternately pitched fits and begged God to heal me. Neither helped.

One morning I picked up my daily devotional, written during the 1800s by a man named Fenelon. Turning to the bookmark, I opened the next day’s selection. It was entitled, ‘Accept Your Weakness." The first lines actually read, "I hear you are sick…I cannot help but kiss the hand that allows this illness. I pray that you will lovingly kiss it with me."

I closed the book. Incredulously, I closed my eyes and tried to imagine the spiritual forces at work that arranged for me to choose that book, that passage on that day. Awesome!

Slowly shaking my head, I opened the book again and read, "I pray that God will keep you faithful to His grace."

I had not been faithful to His anything. My heart was broken that He would have allowed me to suffer, so I had been pouting, scheming and ignoring the very device that He had chosen to bring me to Him. My weakness.

I do not like being weak, but I am. And so are you. As busy parents, we often forget that we are dependent on God for every day, every moment, and every single breath. In gratitude, we will find acceptance and the heart to kiss that hand that allows suffering. Pray that God will keep you faithful to His grace. Seek to remain in that place in your heart that completely relies on the only One who is totally reliable. That way, you will be prepared for anything.

Even if you find yourself at the bottom of a creek.
Kay Brown homeschools her rambunctious brood in the mountains of Northern New Mexico while dreaming of getting her laundry caught up two days in a row. Despite a burning desire to share deep spiritual truths, she finds herself struggling with the same weaknesses as everyone else and clinging to the Lord Jesus.
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