What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving?

 

“I won’t look at what I’ve lost, but instead at what I’ve gained.
We rarely learn as much from happiness as we do from pain.”

 

As we approach Thanksgiving Day, many people express the things they are thankful. These mostly include the “good” things in their life that God has given them.  It’s true, God is a God of blessings and I am certainly grateful for those things.   But those are not the only things for which I am grateful.

 

  • I am grateful for the family and friends that died way too young so that I may see that life on this earth is precious and often cut short.  I will appreciate the time I have with my loved ones and each day that I wake taking another breath.
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  • I am grateful for those early difficult years in my marriage.  I learned that we will persevere through anything because we choose to, not because it is easy, and that marriage has no room for pride or selfishness.  
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  • I am grateful for that devastating diagnosis which I thought meant certain death. I rejoice in the healing, but I still carry those physical scars today as a reminder of the peace I felt in the midst of the turmoil.
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  • I am grateful for the periods of disobedience when I chose to ignore God’s calling on my life.  Although I often wish that I had followed God’s direction for my life earlier,  that period of uncertainty and struggle made me sure that I never wanted to bear that burden of disobedience again.
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James 1 says to “consider it pure joy when we face trials”.  Not because the trials are supposed to make us happy but these are the things that allow us to grow spiritually.  They are not usually pleasant to go through, but we come out on the other side to be more like Christ.  Of all the measures of success, this is the one we should strive for the most.

Romans 5:3-8
… we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving?      

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