It is difficult to be thankful for aches and pains, for suffering, for death, but only the good Lord knows how He will use them for His purpose, His glory.
Kristi Holl recommended me a book: The God of all Comfort by Judy Gann. It is a book of reflections for those who suffer from chronic illness, or those who are dying. Well, we're all dying, so we can all benefit from it. It brings much needed perspective to my life right now. If you know of someone who is suffering, I highly recommend it.
There's a poem in there by an unknown author I'd like to share with you:
My life is but a weaving
Between my Lord and me;
I cannot choose the colors,
He worketh steadily.
Ofttimes he weaveth sorrow,
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper,
And I the underside.
Not 'til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver's skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver,
In the pattern He has planned.
Every night at supper, we go around listing five thanks in no particular order, big or small. We've been doing this for several years now. I especially enjoy listening to the children's thanks, which give me clues as to what they love in their lunchbox, like tomatoes or popcorn, or the obvious (not in their lunchbox) -- the pets, the sunshine, family, friends.
This year, our youth leader at Church challenged us to make a list of 100 things we're thankful for. I thought this would be fun. My kids have already finished their lists. In light of what I've said, I think you can think of a hundred things easily, both good and bad. Even I can be grateful for my illness; it draws me closer to God, makes my children kinder, more compassionate.