Last week, I mentioned how God’s grace is enough for you. This week, let’s talk about acceptance, and to accept it as it is.

Too often with gratitude, we are grateful that we aren’t someone else or worse off. I wonder at times whether that is truly gratitude. Gratitude involves accepting our current state; good, bad or ugly. Rejoicing in the Lord in the good times and in the bad times knowing that we are loved.

Accepting things as they are allows us to reflect upon our imperfections in life. We all make mistakes. We all fall short.

This is OK. God’s grace allows for us to experience forgiveness in life.

As we get ready for Turkey Day next week, many families will go around the table stating what they are thankful for in life. This is a fun practice that we have done at the Thanksgiving table during my adult life.

Many of us will say, I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for God. Maybe even I am thankful for being here today.

What would happen if on Thanksgiving if we thought about who forgave us over the past year and whose relationships came back to us? Then utter, I am thankful for this. Maybe even ponder, how has God restored my live in that amazing grace? Then utter, I am thankful for this.

Accepting things as they are is something Christ did on the cross. Father forgive them for they do not know what they do is words of acceptance of our ignorance and forgiveness for our separation from God.

Also accepting things as they are reminds me of the full version of the Serenity Prayer. This prayer is one of gratitude as Christ accepts the world as it is and transforms it.

When we are accepting things as they are, we begin to witness how God’s grace transforms the world around us. This next week, I would suggest to pray this prayer and reflect upon it deeply:

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardship as the pathway to peace. Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it. Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will. That I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen.”

Joel Richter is Pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Wilmington.

This weekly column is provided to the News Journal on a monthly rotation basis by members of the Wilmington Area Ministerial Association.

Joel Richter

Contributing columnist