I’ve always wished that my life was perfect, pain-free, and easy.
But that’s never guaranteed when you are Christian.
God says that the path He calls us to walk is narrow, not wide.
It’s not a path that many people will choose because it’s hard.
It’s a path that leads you through valleys and storms.
It’s a path that includes dying to your own self and being different from the world.
It’s a path where you learn to grow in Christ daily and that doesn’t come without pruning, breaking, and pain.
November is the month everyone likes to make a list of things they are thankful for.
And we always include everything that is good.
The food on our tables and roofs over our heads.
Our families and friends.
The daily gifts God gives us from above.
And those are all things we should always be thankful for.
But that’s not the only thing we should add onto our list.
It is rare to find someone take time to be thankful for the “not-so-happy” things in life.
But the truth is it those things that we should be just as thankful for because more than the good times, more than the answered prayers, more than the breakthroughs it is the hard things in life that shape us, strengthen us, and form us into who Christ wants us to be.
“But we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” -Romans 5:35
So today I want to challenge all of us to do something different.
Let’s take time to be thankful for those things that are hard.
Let’s find gratitude in our hearts not just for the good, but also for what may seem like it’s bad at the moment.
Let’s find a reason to rejoice not just when the sun is shining in our lives, but when it’s raining.
I will begin…(and you are more than welcome to add some of yours below).
I am thankful for storms in my life that left me shaken, shattered, and hopeless because they brought me to my knees and helped me find my strength to go on in Christ alone.
I am thankful for prayers that were not answered and plans that didn’t work out the way I hoped because they remind me that God’s sovereign will always prevails over my own and in the end it is always so much better than what I ever would have come up with.
I am thankful for people that have failed me, let me down, and walked out of my life because they remind me that God will never fail me, He will never disappoint me, and He will never leave my side.
I am thankful for dark, hopeless days where I’d find myself sitting in front of a dead end because in those moments God always showed me that dead end’s are the perfect place for new beginnings with Him.
I am thankful for hardships in life that left me lying face down on the ground after I tried and failed because it was one more chance for me to learn to get back up again. One more chance to press forward. One more chance to lean on God and never give up.
I am thankful for dreams that take too long to come true because I know it is during my time of waiting that God is preparing my heart for what is to come and He never allows anything to come to soon or too late.
I am thankful for people who reject me in some way or another or don’t see my worth because it helps me find my identity not in anyone or anything, but in Christ alone.
I am thankful for opportunities that seemed to pass me by because they helped build my faith as I trust for something better to come along.
I am thankful that there is not a single storm, a single giant, a single valley, and a single trial that I have to walk without God.
I am thankful that after going through a hardship I come out much stronger, and braver, and more Christ-like than when I first came in.
Yes, I want many blessings from above.
I want the sun to shine and the birds to sing.
But even more than an easy life, I want to live a life worthy of the call Christ has for me.
And that life will guarantee that I will walk through more trials that I don’t want to walk through.
That I’ll deal with more giants that I’d rather not face.
That there will be more storms on my horizon.
And I am learning to be okay with that.
Because some of the greatest blessing in my life have come through the most trying times.
Some of my greatest growth with God took place during my hardest moments.
And if becoming closer to God means taking the narrow road that leads through hardships then that is the way I will choose to go.
I would rather have a hard life with Jesus than an easy and empty one without Him.
What are you thankful for today?
Be blessed and never forget to count your blessings this month and always! –Anna… ♥