It has taken me a long, long time to get even close to an attitude that many of the practicing Jews in Israel have, that of being thankful in absolutely every situation. The reasoning behind that is that no matter what is going on God has either sent it or allowed it. There is a reason for it. Am I perfect at thinking that way? Not even close, but I have learned a few things.
Those good things that come to us, they are easy to be thankful for. I'm talking about our comfortable homes, the jobs that provide the income we need to survive, the people we love and who love us, a fun vacation, the possibilities on this list are endless. The good things can big or small...someone is declared cancer-free after a long struggle is a huge blessing, while the sunshine on your face is a small blessing. The greatest good thing that has ever come my way is my salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Things that don't come to us aren't always recognized as blessings at first. Have you ever wanted something, wished, hoped, and prayed for it, only to not get it? Chances are you can look back from a point later in life and recognize that things worked out better without that thing happening. When I think of this type of blessing I think first of the punishment that is not coming my way because of God's grace and mercy. Second, I think of the times when the answer to my prayers was "No." Garth Brooks had a huge hit that talked about this type of blessing.
The last type of blessing is probably the hardest to learn to recognize. These are the ones we have to search for because they come wrapped in difficulty, pain, fear, and tragedy. These blessings are the silver linings in the storm cloud. These are the ones where you feel like your world is falling apart but you can look around you and find the good.
Sometimes, though, we can't see the good until later because the bad thing set something in motion that took a while to become evident. An example would be be the mother who loses her child to a drunk driver and then campaigns endlessly to change laws and educate others. A great, good work came out of her tragedy that helped others. The challenge before us right now in the midst of this pandemic is to find the blessings and they are there if you open your eyes and heart to see them.
Some things that have blessed me during the past week and that I am very thankful for include...
Time in abundance. Time to spend with my husband. Time to read. Time to cook. Time to nap. Time to spend with the Lord. Time to watch movies and shows that have been on our list. Time to work on projects around the house.
Patience and good moods. Sometimes too much time and togetherness can make for short tempers. We haven't experienced that.
Financial grace. With both of us not working and unemployment still being held up by the large numbers of people signing up we could be in a pretty tight spot, but we are doing fine. We've talked to our creditors and everyone has been incredibly helpful and understanding.
Finding a show we both like. This is huge. We tend to have very different tastes, but when I finally began to watch Longmire on Netflix, my husband watched, too, and is hooked.
Warm days. We've only had a few that were truly spring-like, but the cold isn't quite as cold and doesn't last as long. Sunshine is becoming a bit more common. That lifts my spirits and (don't laugh) I think my houseplants look happier, too!
Health. I am very, very grateful that all of my family and friends (including blogging and Facebook friends) remain virus free.
All of you. I am always grateful for blogging friends who visit and comment and the community we've built, but these days make me especially thankful to have you in my life. We all do life together. We encourage each other, laugh together, mourn together, and do all the things that make friends friends. My life is blessed by your presence in it.
I am linking up with today with Rebecca Jo @ Knit By God's Hand
and the A-Z Challenge.