There is a truck driver in Elgin wondering about that poor lady (i.e.me) crying in my car, sitting at the stop light on Randall Road the week before Thanksgiving.
I was listening to the forward in a book by an author-mentor of mine and she said something that pricked an (apparently) very tender piece of my heart.
The author writing the forward was Joni Eareckson Tada, who happens to be a quadripilegic. She relies on others to do everything for her- brush her hair, her teeth, blow her nose. And here she is - writing a forward for a book on gratitude.
After talking about following God’s instruction to not only give thanks IN everything but FOR everything (1 Thess. 5:18, Eph. 5:19-20) she said:
“Most of us are able to thank God for His grace, comfort & sustaining power in a trial. But we don’t thank Him for the problem, just finding Him in it...
But many decades in a wheelchair has taught me not to segregate my Savior from the suffering He allows. As though a broken neck, or in your case, a broken ankle, heart or home merely happens and then God shows up after the fact to wrestle something good out of it.”
And that was when the tears welled up and spilled over.
I’ve had it wrong. I felt so convicted. All of my complaining these past two years through the cancer, the special needs diagnosis, the job loss, quarantining with a house full of broken humans.
Yes, I’d acknowledge God. But I guess I thought - get through your troubles, lean on God, and eventually He may - or may not - reveal what He’s doing in it.
Instead, Joni is saying she gives thanks FOR her quadriplegia.
“It’s a bruising of a blessing. A gift wrapped in black,” she stated.
Oh, OH. Can I do that?
Can I thank God FOR my continual back pain? Can I thank God FOR this pandemic? For not getting to see my side of the family for the holidays? For the child with a demanding personality that utterly drains me?
Honestly, I’m not quite there yet.
But I’m going to ask for that. For my soul to widen its capacity.
And I’m wondering if I can share this thought-provoking, hard, intriguing, maybe life-changing thought with all of you who are not doing well during this season.
Let’s see what whispers of thanksgiving can do for our hearts. ❤️
Writer’s Note: The book is called “Choosing Gratitude” by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth and I highly recommend it.
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