You Have but One Task- Be Faithful!
— Rey Diaz · Wednesday, May 24, 2023 —
There are two prayers I am currently praying each day. The first is a prayer of serenity by Reinhold Niebuhr:
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference, living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; taking this world as it is and not as I would have it; trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to Your will; so that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with You forever in the next. Amen.
The part of this prayer I find particularly challenging to pray is the line that says, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.” I'm pretty good about having the courage to change things. A lot of my life has revolved around my ability and desire to seek change. But where I really struggle is in accepting things I cannot change. There are things that I cannot change in the ministry, in my life, in other people and through this prayer, I feel God inviting me to learn how to surrender to His will so that I can find peace and joy no matter my situation.
I have come to see that one of the reasons I struggle to accept things I cannot change is because I don't want to fail. I think that's just a common fear a lot of us have. We fear failure. We fear the effects of failure and we try doing everything we can to avoid it, but sometimes we just can't. That brings me to the second prayer I am praying. This one comes from a book called “Every Moment Holy” by Douglas Kaine McKelvey.
The prayer I am reading is aptly called, “The Fear of Failure”. It says, in part:
“Under the Spirit’s tutelage such fears might become messengers of grace revealing to you only what was true all along: in yourself you do not have the strength or the wisdom or the ability to accomplish the task to which you are called.
And so you must come repeatedly to the end of trust in your own strength that you might avail yourself again and again of his strength.
Then let my fear of failure drive me to you, Oh Lord, to collapse upon your strong shoulders and here to rest, reminded again that I and all your children are always utterly dependent on you to bring to completion, in and through us, the good work which you have prepared beforehand for us to do. It is not my OWN work that is before or now, but yours!
Take heart – the outcomes of your labors were never in your hands, but in God’s. You have but one task: to be faithful.”
These are the prayers I am meditating on this month. They are both reminders of what I already know to be true: I cannot do what I'm doing on my own. I need God. I need to cling to Him, hold on to Him, and just a constant reminder that I'm not in charge of Orphan Outreach. I'm not the one facing these challenges. God is the one facing the challenges. I'm just with him. He's the one fighting these battles. I'm just with him.