“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us–they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:3-5 (NLT)
A few weeks ago, I planned to set aside every Thursday in November to share some of the many things I’m thankful for. It is no coincidence that today, the first Thursday in November, I would initially struggle to find one thing to be thankful for. You see, for the past two weeks, we’ve experienced setbacks of one kind or another. This morning at a glance: we overslept, rushed out the door to get my children to school on time (with 2 minutes to spare) and on my way to work, my van broke down (the third time in 2 weeks that something on the van has needed major repair).
Lately, it’s been feeling like one backwards step after another. Today I felt like I reached my breaking point. As I was about 1/4 way through the box of tissue in my van (waiting for the tow truck to arrive), I began to ask God why He continues to allow things like this to happen to me and my family. Not that I was expected an audible answer. I know that tests and trials are good for us (that’s what God’s Word says–and I believe it) but a series of tests and trials feels a little like, well, punishment.
After I had some time to reflect and allow the Holy Spirit to calm my nerves, I began to think about the many ways God has blessed me. Today, I am thankful for Jesus. I am thankful that He loves me more than I’ll ever know. I am thankful that He sends gentle reminders through adversity that He’s there and still in control. (He sent a very friendly tow truck driver to rescue me, family and friends offered to come and sit with me while I waited for the tow truck, my husband called me every 10 minutes to check in on me, and I was able to pull off of the main road and not block traffic.) I am thankful for the promises of Scripture. I am thankful that nothing can ever separate me from His love. I am thankful that while situations change and tests come, He never changes. I am thankful that while I don’t know “why”, He uses all things for my good.
What are you thankful for today?