I earnestly pray that you will have a “merry” Christmas. I pray you experience at least some significant, memorable moments of joy this day—December 25, 2020. For many, this has been a year of suffering and heart-break. I have friends and family members who are mourning the death of a spouse. Some, as recently as yesterday.
We are human, made with emotions. We are going to feel hurt when disappointments come. There are times when that hurt is deep. During one of those times in my life, I was driving past a farm and saw a tractor plowing deep furrows, churning and breaking up the sod. I thought, “I can relate. That is exactly how I feel right now.” What I was going through left my heart feeling shredded and torn and broken, like a fresh-plowed field.
It is through those kinds of experiences that we learn that we are indeed heirs of “all things.” God has given us “all things.” God will use “all things” to grow us, and teach us, and mold us into His own image and likeness. All things. Yes, even the bad things, are given to us. I don’t mean that in the sense that God causes them. He’s not sitting around trying to figure out whose turn it is to suffer and saying, “Oh! You look like you could use some misery! Here! Let me give you some.”
Rather, our misery is most often the result of the sinfulness that entered the world soon after man did, and it is just part of life under the sun. But God says, “Here. Let me take this experience you are going through, as good or as bad as it may be, and use it in such a way that life comes from it. I will comfort you, encourage you, grow you, and reveal to you My love.” It is because of that, I have learned I can give thanks, always, for all things. Everything. Nothing is excluded. Do I want to experience pain or loss of any kind? Nope. Not even a little bit. Yet I know the God who promised is faithful. So everything is for my good. Everything can result in thanksgiving being given to Him. So, I’m not going to wait until I come out on the “good” end of the experience. It may be faint, and struggling, and sometimes half-hearted, but I am going to begin now, in the midst of the storm being thankful, for all things.
Recently, a friend of my wife finished reading my book, “Extreme Gratitude.” She told Trish that several times while reading it, she just wanted to stop and hug us because she just never realized we had suffered so much. We were a little puzzled because we never expected the book could come across that way. On the other hand, if what I did consider to be the message of the book is true, then that is probably why she never realized we had been through “so much.” Neither my blog or my book are written in such a way that, I think, most people would find immediate relief and comfort for whatever they are going through. Rather, I hope to help you find real, lasting, long-term healing and comfort, and a life-view that will see you through the storms and heart-breaks and sufferings as they come.