At first I thought, well this sounds easy. I can embrace the blessings and the good days and the answers to prayers and... But then I read the verse again (and the verses surrounding it) and realized that's not exactly what Paul meant when he wrote this verse. If I'm going to embrace what God does for me...that's going to mean the good and the bad. Here's what I mean...
God disciplines us. "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12:11. Experiencing God's discipline can be hard. It can bring tears, struggles, sacrifice, pain... But Paul says I am to embrace it. Why? I think the answer is just a few lines down in Romans..."God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you." God can't do that amazing work of maturing me and making me more like him (isn't that the ultimate goal of a Christian) if I'm not willing to embrace the discipline he puts me through to get me there.
God calls us to give of ourselves. The Christian life isn't designed to be about me. It's designed to be about Jesus and those that need to know him. America has become a very self-centered society. "I'm doing me now" is an expression my correctional officer husband hears a lot. And since he's hearing it from inmates, I'm guessing that didn't work out too well for them. Back to the topic...giving of ourselves is no longer something that comes naturally to our society. Giving requires sacrifice...which may require pain. But God says I am to embrace it. Even if it means surrendering the things I most hold dear.
Embracing what God is doing isn't always going to be easy. But I firmly believe it will always be worth it. We might not be able to see that at the time...but looking back, we will know that God had everything safely in his hands. A little further ahead in Romans (verse 11) we find this advice..."Don't burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don't quit in hard times; pray all the harder." God will give us the strength to not only endure, but embrace what he leads us through. And when we get to the other side (of the problem or to heaven!) we will also be able to embrace his blessings. To bask in his presence...to celebrate his joy...to rest in his peace.
**concordance credit: blue letter bible