Thankfulness for Afflictions?

 

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Thankfulness…

November is here…
A time to remember.
A time to be thankful.

If I sit down and ask my children what they are thankful for I will usually get answers like this…
I am thankful for my mommy and daddy.
I am thankful for my hew house.
I am thankful for ice cream.
I am thankful for my grandparents.
I am thankful for my new bike.

And It is wonderful to be thankful for these things–but do we encourage our children to go beyone that…

It is so important to count our many mercies. My pastor’s wife has been encouraging our church to purposefully recall the many mercies the Lord has given us. Her signature candy now is M&Ms — get it, “Many Mercies”? 🙂 And we take so many little things for granted.

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I know for me, there are so many little things that I know other healthy mommies take for granted that I have learned through my chronic illness to appreciate now that I am on a journey of health. Yesterday, I was thinking about my ability to take my children to coop and follow that with a huge Aldi grocery run. Yes, a family of 10 can pile multiple carts high even for just a weeks worth of supplies.

I was thinking about how I was able to go through the stress of moving to a new home, all the packing and unpacking.

I was thinking about how I am able to plan for a houseful for Thanksgiving and follow that with a huge church gathering in our home not long after that in December. These are things I couldn’t have dreamed of doing a short couple of years ago. When I was on my six week sabbatical even one of these things would have put me over the edge with it being days or weeks of recover afterwards.

And so there are so many small things that many people might take for granted that I am thankful for.

I am thankful to have the strength to get out of bed.
I am thankful for motivation.
I am thankful that I can smile and laugh and that the lingering internal cloud of darkness is gone.
I am thankful I can mentally make decisions.
I am thankful I can handle the many small stressors that come with each day.

So I would encourage you to think through your many mercies…especially those ones we take for granted.

And finally, I would challenge you with one other thought.

Should our list of thankfulness merely contain the “good” and “happy” things in our life? If we saw things through the Lord’s perspective maybe our thankfulness list would include other trials as well.

I am thankful for my illnesses and health afflictions for it has taught me to depend upon the Lord more.
I am thankful that I have had depression so that I can learn to look to the Lord when I can’t see Him through the clouds.
I am thankful for my 4 miscarriages for I have little souls waiting in heaven that are praising the Lord!
I am thankful for the car accident our children were in for it was character building for their hearts and showed them the brevity of life.
I am thankful for the times we have had to wait on the Lord to see whether my husband would still have a job because it causes us to trust in our God for His keeping of us.
I am thankful for my son’s seizures when he was 8, my daughter’s broken arm, the croup my toddler just had that sent us to the ER, for these things remind of us of the frailty of the body and our opportunities for heart communion with the Lord.
I am thankful for the fact that our home that we just moved to has been delayed in closing for well over a month and looks like it could be two months for it has caused the domino effect of four families to look to the Lord for provision and see that the kings heart is in the hand of the Lord.

“It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.” Psalm 119:71

So how about you? What are you thankful for? Let’s remember to include the trials as well as the blessings!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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