Today I am grateful for:
My family, friends, a home, a job, a church home, the ability to see, hear, walk, talk, think, for pain, for problems and difficulties of diverse sorts.
The first set of items listed I may go for days without noticing they are part of my life. Like the air I breathe into my lungs, they are important and necessary, and perhaps go unnoticed until I don't have them. But pain? Problems? Why should I be grateful for troubles? Because pain causes me to sit up and take notice. Problems redirect my focus.
It is right and fitting to be thankful for family, friends and abilities. But can I view the problems that I cannot solve, bend or run away from (as is my tendency), as pieces to a greater mosaic that I just cannot see? Are those bitter issues really just ingredients which, when added with other ingredients, may come together to form something truly transformative in my life?
Most days I find this very difficult to do. Many nights have been spent with tears and tossing, anxieties that rob me of sleep, and anguish that sickens my soul. My thoughts spin on the hamster wheel, softly squeaking, "why, when, what and how". And when I find no answers written on the bedroom ceiling, I strain my ears to hear a voice above the questions, one that tells me how closely I am held, how deeply I am loved.
Troubles come and go; some will resolve and others may move in, but can I allow myself to sink into surrender, to recognize that the pain which causes me to seek out answers, and keep on seeking, led me to the One who knows my heart, the lover of my soul?
Photo Credit: Deb Turnow