Thankfulness during the storm

As we enter Thanksgiving week here in the United States, so many people have been and will be taking time to express things in life for which they are grateful. That is something we should all do constantly.

I have much for which to be grateful. I don’t know if I would have had the same attitude six months ago. That’s because I was in one of those cycles where life was more challenging and uncomfortable than we like. But right now, my life is in an upward swing. Why am I more grateful now than then? I’m ashamed that I fall into the trap of forgetting the blessing of life when things are difficult.

Even as I am celebrating good things in my life, I don’t have to look far to see people who are in pain. Someone very close to me is on the verge of losing his mother to cancer. I know more than one person who is enduring serious marital problems. I have another friend who had a recent medical scare. She got relatively good news from the doctor, but they recently contacted her to say they want to take a closer look just to be sure it’s not something more significant.

There, just off the top of my head, are a handful of people facing serious difficulties. In one way or another, I have communicated with each of them in the past couple of weeks. Even while facing the fear of the unknown…and inevitable, they see the blessings that they must lean on in order to get through this difficult time.

I am making it my personal mission to pay attention to the need that surrounds me. So iStock_000004330295Medium-300x200many times, I get caught up with tunnel vision. I lose sight of the things going on around me in the lives of others. I don’t expect that there is anything I can or will do that will make life easier for anyone. But I can’t let that stop me from praying for them. That can’t stop me from making myself available to them in case there is something I can do. That can’t stop me from asking God to use me in some way to bless them.

Life is cyclical. I know that despite this calm I now enjoy, it’s just a matter of time. May I find the strength to be like those in my life who still see the blessings during the hardship.

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

~Philippians 4:6-7

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