Wisdom and the Rest of the Prayer.

Whenever I hear the word wisdom, I think of King Solomon. He was supposed to have prayed for wisdom and also received it. In the context of this prayer, we are asking for wisdom to know the difference. The difference between acceptance and change, and when we should do either one.

I don’t think I’m a very wise person. In fact, I look back and some of the things that I have done are really stupid. I wonder where my brain was when I decided those things. But praying for wisdom; that’s just a step up. We are coming to the Lord and saying we don’t know what we should do and asking Him to help us. We have to be humble to ask this.

To be humble is to admit that you are not a good judge of a situation. Perhaps you are too close to the situation to determine what should happen. To be humble you need to acknowledge that you are not in control. To be humble you need to have a peace about letting God have control. To be humble to listen to the Lord and do as He tells you.

He may speak to you through the scriptures, or perhaps a good friend who you trust. Always seek counseling with others because you may be too close to the situation to make a good decision.

The rest of this prayer is about humility. Living only one day at a time; which is all the that Lord has promised us. Enjoying what is happening now; not letting the past or future ruin what joy there is in a day. Accepting any hardship, knowing that the Lord will get us though it. Doing what the Lord would have us do because blessings will always come with following the Lord.

This whole prayer is one that can help you live your life. It encompasses living in the Lord in a few sentences. Since doing this blog about the Serenity Prayer I think that I will have to take it more to heart then I’ve done in the recent past. I’ve reminded myself why I used to pray this a lot. I don’t have Joe to take care of anymore, but this prayer is too good to set aside.

Serenity

My father was a recovering alcoholic and he spent a good portion of his time later in life attending AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings. He never cared about his “anonymous” status and would tell anyone that he was a drunk, just one drink from a bender.

From his recovery in AA, I came to know the Serenity Prayer. Every meeting is started with this prayer (at least they used to!) and it is (or was) a staple of life recovering from alcoholism.

One day, I took a really good look at this prayer. Oh, I knew it, could recite the first four lines by heart. That is all of the prayer that AA used, but they are powerful. This prayer kept me sane while I was taking care of Joe and I came to depend on it.

God, Grant Me The Serenity… who doesn’t want serenity? Have you ever had the kind of peace and serenity that only God can give? I have, several times, and each time I know it’s not me that caused the total and utter peace within.

Early in Joe’s medical history, he had a pretty serious surgery. He would end up having three extremely major surgeries, all of them lasting 10 hours or more. This was the first of those surgeries. He was to have a craniotomy and a biopsy done on a small tumor that showed up in a really bad place. It was in the place in your brain where all of your nerves gather to form the spinal column. Tricky surgery. Then, once the neurosurgeon was finished he was going to be passed on to the plastic surgeon to try to fix some of the scalp and skull that was rotting before our eyes. Yup, Joe was going to get a “twofer”.

Of course we had to get to the hospital before sunrise. I kissed Joe and off he went. I was very nervous about this surgery. Little did I know at the time that I would become a champ at sitting in waiting rooms. I was feeling really nerved up, so I went outside to walk around the hospital campus. While I was outside I was just praying for Joe and the doctors and nurses taking care of him. Suddenly, in my “minds eye” so to speak, I saw an operating room with someone on the operating table and doctors and nurses all around. I couldn’t see faces, but I knew it was Joe on that table. At each corner of the room was an angel. Then I realized that angels were watching over the operation…. I was floored and a peace came over me. My anxiety just kind of floated away.

I know the kind of Serenity that this prayer is mentioning. There are many times in my life I have called on God and requested this Serenity and usually He will bless me with peace.

More on the Serenity Prayer next time….

Taking Trips

Joe wasn’t much of a traveling guy. When his health was good he tended to stay home and not go anywhere. If I suggested a trip, he would say it was too much trouble. That changed when he had to be at home because of his health. All of a sudden he wanted to take rides and go out to eat. He had a “bucket list” of sorts. I would hear him say “I would like to go there one day” and I would make a mental list.

We took day trips to Strasburg Rail Road and Fallingwater in Pennsylvania while he was still ambulatory and not on oxygen. Now Joe had no idea what it took for me to arrange a trip. Just a day trip wasn’t bad, but one day I got the idea to take him to Ocean City, MD for a weekend. Joe was always a beach guy while I was mostly a mountain type girl. Ocean City is not in my top 10 places to visit. Since this was a bucket list type of thing, I couldn’t just get a room anywhere in Ocean City, we had to have one ocean side and near the boardwalk. It had to be off season cause we couldn’t afford several nights in the middle of the season. Joe was on oxygen and in a wheelchair for any distance so there were some special things I had to do. I got a room (handicapped accessible with shower chair) in a hotel on the boardwalk, ocean-side. I had to order oxygen to be sent to the hotel (ordered two weeks in advance!) which was delivered to the wrong hotel at first (heart attack time!!) but the concierge found it. Then the packing and the driving (over 2 hours) to Ocean City.

I have to say that it was so worth it. Although he couldn’t go on the beach, he loved to stand on the balcony and look out over the ocean. We walked up and down the boardwalk several times. While we were there we called his cousin in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware (just a “jog” up from Ocean City) and on Saturday we visited them. It was a wonderful evening.

All the work I did for these trips was definitely worth it. I’m praying the whole time we’re traveling cause I know anything can happen to make the trip a nightmare, but God always blessed us on these trips. It was one of the ways I learned to trust God and put my worries in His Hands.

Anxious about Tomorrow?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:28-34

We worry about many things in life and our worry causes us problems both physical and mental. I found this verse and took it as my own many years ago. The key in this portion of the scripture is the part in bold. If we are seeking His Kingdom and His Righteousness then everything else becomes secondary.

Easy? Oh, no…. Our society is so material driven that just to say that you don’t worry about things can have others look at you like you’ve grown 3 heads. In the past, especially when I was taking care of my husband, we were taken care of. I worked full time and didn’t know how I would be able to take care of my husband as his health worsened and continue working. I brought in the paycheck, what we lived on. It seemed like it was impossible. Then through no thought or research of my own I found that we could get Home Health Aides at no cost to us. REALLY? What a relief! God really does look after us.