August 5, 2011


Some days I feel just like this little girl
(Only instead of having literal birds pulling my hair- something that looks acutely uncomfortable- I merely feel like a bird).
Like all of the things I am blessed with make me so happy, I could levitate. 
Let me back up for a moment.
Do not, for one second, assume I had a mess, stress, pain-free day.
There was more than a fair share of all of the above. 
But I've been trying to integrate the teaching of I Thessalonians 5:18:
"In everything give thanks: for this is the will of  God in Christ Jesus concerning you." 
I know that those of you reading this who know their Bible, and even some of you who don't- have heard this verse before: it's nothing new!
But when was the last time you examined it. 
Meditated on it.
Turned it over in your mind.
"In everything give thanks..."
Pain, suffering, health, joy; no matter what you're circumstances, be thankful.
And don't just be thankful, but give thanks.
This means more than appreciating your life with warm fuzzy feelings in your heart; it means looking up to God, even if it's raining and times are hard, and saying "Thank you for this", and actually meaning it. 
It is a universally acknowledged truth that "what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger," a phrase coined by someone who was probably some sort of macho viking body-builder or something, and meant it in the physical sense. But since it's true of most everything in life, we- the human race- have taken it up as a sort of motto. And it's true: the struggles that we endure build strength and patience. The Bible even has a verse for that too (Only it was around way before the mach-viking dude's catch-phrase ever was): James 1:2-3.
"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into diverse temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience."
I'm saying all of this to impress the importance of not only being thankful for every single struggle in our lives, because it not only makes us stronger...
...But it also helps us to see the blessings a little clearer.
It's a philosophy that mocks the artistic affect named by the Italians as Chiaroscuro; the revelation of the light in a picture by creating the dark. 
The same goes with blessings and struggles: the shadow proves the sunshine.
It's a beautiful thing.
So as I look back on my day, take into account both the pain and the pleasure, I am better able to appreciate and enjoy the beauty rather than remember nothing but the bane. 
Think about it: when was the last time you gave thanks in and for a time of extreme difficulty?
I suggest you start a new habit, and begin being thankful in all things, right now.
At this very second.
No need to wait for tomorrow morning.
Don't even think about putting off until November 24.
Be thankful...
...and be blessed.
I know I am!

1 comment:

kimberly said...

Beautiful point. Giving thanks in trials is something I've been dwelling on lately, too. Especially since I realize my trials only bring me closer to Him.