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In Your Grief, Take the First Step to Peace
By Rick Warren

“I fasted and wept while the child was alive, for I said, ‘Perhaps the Lord will be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again?” 2 Samuel 12:22-23 (NLT)

When people receive bad news, their first response is usually disbelief. We reject the truth because it’s too shocking and painful. We don’t think it’s possible. We can’t accept that it’s real. We think, “It’s not supposed to happen like this!”

But then reality slowly starts to set in, and you can’t deny it anymore. That’s where surrender comes in. Surrender is accepting reality, and it’s the first step on the path to peace. You have to accept what cannot be changed. 

After his infant son died, King David said, “I fasted and wept while the child was alive, for I said, ‘Perhaps the Lord will be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again?” (2 Samuel 12:22-23 NLT). Of course, the answer is “no.” His child is gone. What is David doing here? He’s accepting what cannot be changed.

In whatever loss you will experience in your life, the first thing you have to do is accept what cannot be changed.

Acceptance doesn’t mean you stop caring. Acceptance doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. It does! And acceptance doesn’t mean you think that what happened is good. Acceptance simply means you know you can’t change it, and you have to move forward with a new reality.

What do you need to accept that’s over in your life? Maybe it’s a job where you keep thinking they’ll call you and give you another chance. But there isn’t going to be another chance. 

Maybe it’s a relationship that’s over, but you just keep hoping they’ll walk back through the door at any moment. But they’re not coming back.

Maybe it’s a season of life that you treasured but is now finished, and you think you can stretch it into one more day. But you have to accept that that season of your life is over. 

Maybe it’s a dream that hasn’t happened yet, but you can’t give it up. You need to get a new dream, a new goal, a new vision for your life.

Everything—the good things and the bad things—is here for a season. When the time is over, you have to trust that God is in control. He will lead you toward peace when you are ready to surrender to him and his good plan.

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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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