PrayerPoints ~ Sunday, February 21st

week 2_t

Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 16

“Keep me safe, my God,
    for in you I take refuge.” Psalm 16:1

One thing about God, He is always working on me! And when I am convicted (convinced) of something in particular, I retreat to Him. The biggest problem is that sometimes He is waiting quite a while as I sort it all out. But when I finally do, I definitely find myself taking refuge in His forgiveness and grace!

While it isn’t exactly the same thing, I do think there is somewhat of a corellation between Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s five stages of grief/loss: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance with the “Access Process” I seem to work through. Maybe you can relate on some level. Here are the phases I seem to go through:

  • Want
  • Justification
  • Scheming
  • Frustration
  • Resignation

and, finally:

  • Acceptance

Below is a description of each of the phases of the Access Process and how it might look.

Want: I identify something I want. Sometimes that is a process all by itself. I often first get tripped up in thinking that something I would like to have is something I should have, or, worse yet, deserve. When it comes right down to it, most things are just things I want. Sometimes this part of the process takes a few years!  Sometimes these things are ok to want and sometimes not. Sometimes they are things within my true control to access and sometimes they are things that are out of my control because they are dependent on many other things or people. While I am figuring out this part, God is so patient with me!

Justification: During the “justification phase” I might do a little research and/or gathering people who agree with me. That might mean also convincing them that whatever it is that I want is clearly justifiable by human standards. And maybe even God’s standards. There is no telling how delusional I am about this want. If I have “yes men” around me or I am very eloquent, I can usually get people to agree with me that what I am pursuing is absolutely reasonable.

Scheming: This is the phase where I have a tendency to figure out how to get others to endorse and come along with me to help get me what I want. I might use reverse psychology, give you what I think you want so you will help me (if you can), or I might resort to trickery. It all depends on how desperate I am for this “want”.

Frustration: If I am unable to realize the object of my intentions, particularly after all the time I have spent identifying it, justifying it, and scheming to get it, I admit I will get frustrated. This is the first of two stages where I can be pretty grumpy. I am pretty sure I am not easy to live with during the frustration stage.

Resignation: I might be a bit contemplative and quiet during this time and I might be downright stompy. I am not happy that all of my attempts to access what I want are not working and I am figuring out that accessing this desire probably won’t happen. However, I do carry a glimmer of hope with me that it will come to pass after all. The first time I come to the resignation phase I might move right to acceptance. But I also might renew my pursuit of the want and work my way through the want, justification, scheming, frustration, and registration process all over again. Here is what that looks like:

Once I get to the place where I recognize that it is just something I want or would be nice to have, I need to go back and revisit all the scheming I may or may not have done to secure this thing. In my frustration, I might try a new angle of accessing the desired item. Then, I might resign myself to the fact that I won’t ever access the item. But then I think about it some more and, with my spark of hope, I renew my justification. This cycle might last a few hours or a few years. It all depends on whatever this thing is that I want. There is a huge difference between resignation and acceptance.

And, finally:

Acceptance: A true acceptance of a situation is really recognizing that this is how it is (you will be living without this thing) and you are OK with it. I mean, really ok with it. You aren’t necessarily joy-filled at first because it might be accepting things that you had always hoped for but it can lead to trusting God in His provision for you.

Think big and think small. Try to insert your wants into the Access Process and see if you behave similarly. I have tried to apply this idea to different sized desires and it seems to work but I welcome your refinement to this idea.

And so, you can see that this is quite a process! In the end,  I take refuge in His forgiveness and grace because I so desperately need it after all that activity of the Access Process. Of course, it would be so much easier if I would start here first:

Delight yourself in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

I think if I focus first in delighting in the Lord, He will conform the desires of my heart to be more closely aligned with the desires of His heart and I will be satisfied with His provisions in my life. It seems crazy to (potentially) waste so much time and energy in the Access Process but, in the end, the acceptance phase is allowing Him to conform my heart to His.

Do you ever find yourself in this Access Process?

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