Early this morning, as the sun was peeking through the trees and hitting the frost on the fallen leaves in a way that caused them to sparkle, I pulled out a piece of paper. It seemed a fitting time to write a gratitude list. It is Thanksgiving after all.
As I wrapped my sweater tightly around me and sipped my coffee, I began to ponder, slowly moving my pen across the paper:
- Warm house
- Family visiting
- The comforting aroma of the gluten-free stuffing, a new recipe that turned out wonderfully
But just as I was getting ramped up, God pushed through with a questioned that stirred me deeply.
What about your difficulties? Are you thankful for them?
I looked over my growing list of blessings and was hit hard by the realization that it was lacking. Something was missing. I was missing the perspective that God uses ALL things for His glory. To be thankful in ALL circumstances. To see God visible through the pain. To recognize that hardships can be blessings - they fill me with a heavenly, eternal hope and perceptive.
So I began to add more to my list:
- The lingering pain in my finger from a deep cut - reminds me I still have the finger
- The photo shoot I messed up horribly - keeps me humble, I have much to learn, so thankful for my photography mentor
- My bouts of depression - forces me to lean heavy on Christ, only He can fill those dark places
- The struggles related with raising a son with special needs - pushes me into community, I cannot do it on my own, I am not alone
My eyes filled with tears as my pen now moved rapidly across the paper. Indeed, I have so much to be thankful for...
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