Written by Corey McLauglin, eBerkshireProgram Coordinator

I hear it all the time. “It is what it is.” A difficult boss, a broken marriage, an estranged relationship – in all ways we strain to bend life to our expectations, but like the fabled bow of Odysseus from Homer’s ancient epic, us regular folk soon fail and it snaps back on us. Why complain? “It is what it is,” after all. Better to accept our circumstances and move on.

But does this mean we stop praying for God to intervene? If so, that’s more akin to fatalism then to trusting God.
Does it mean we have no recourse in life, that we are just tossed to and fro by the waves of our circumstances unable to get free so we just accept where we are and sink below the waves? If so, that sounds more like the lazy, slothful, sluggard from the book of Proverbs (Prov. 19:24; 20:4; 21:25).

In the Garden of pain before his crucifixion Jesus did not just accept his plight, rather he pleaded on bended knee, three times in fact, to “take this cup from me” (Matt. 26:36-46), yet still seeking God’s will in the process. At the end He arose peaceful, centered in mind and spirit, trusting in God’s sovereignty and driven by joy to embrace God’s plan for His life (Heb 12:2). There is a second half to the phrase everyone forgets, “It is what it is, but it becomes what we make it.” We cannot control life and people, only God commands the wind and the waves, but there is nothing unholy about pleading for new circumstances as long as we (1) seek God’s will in all things, (2) actively respond faithfully no matter His decision.

Paul knew that too, for he pleaded three times through pain, then actively responded faithfully, “…I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me…I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:9-10). Both Jesus and Paul are not resigning themselves to their situations, they are responding with bold, dramatic, technicolor faith and joy in God’s sovereign plan. Are you?

 

Posted Dec 1, 2020