Remember this post, in which I discuss my Little Hippie Baby’s wild side?
Or this one, where he got a bit too close to nature?
Well, I spent the whole day yesterday going from doctor’s office to hospital to pharmacy with my sweet little billy goat.
He’d been passing blood before he just stopped passing anything. This disturbing development was followed by a total refusal to eat or drink anything at all.
Remembering that, about a week ago, we’d lost the AAA battery for the TV remote we were convinced that he’d eaten it.
The X-rays didn’t show any foreign objects, but there was definitely a blockage in his intestine. The doctor gave us some tips to help him move things along and this morning he woke up with a diaper full of sand. Horrible, horrible stinky sand.
One friend said, “Apparently sand does not flow through the human body like it does through the hour glass? These are the days of our lives.”
What does any of this have to do with a spirit of thankfulness?
Well, James 1 chapter 1 tells us this:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the lord: he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does…blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him…. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like a shifting shadow.
Understand that I love my children fiercely and wildly – with a capacity I never before knew I possessed.
But life with children is full of trials.
Life without children is full of trials.
Some days suck.
And it is so easy to get caught up in that.
My husband and I have a loved one in our lives that gets stuck in that cycle. As soon as you say, “How have you been?” You can expect a litany of complaints and miseries.
“Oh,” he will answer. “You know. They did cut backs at work again so there are less people doing more work and you know, those hours on my feet are no good for my back. I had to get my prescription filled twice last month and my co-pay is $20. That’s $40 I’ll never see again. And, of course, we’ve all had the flu, just the same as every year at this time. And now that it’s getting cold the battery on the car isn’t working right. And……”
NEVER do you hear him give thanks. He doesn’t ever say, “They did cut backs at work again. I feel so blessed that I still have a job!”
But the Bible tells us that it is right and good to give our thanks. Not only should we be thankful for our job, but we should be thankful for the days that test the very fiber of our being. For it is in those times that we grow and become better people.
It is easy to be thankful for my family when we are all frolicking on the sunlit beach together.
It is more of a challenge to be thankful during a day of tests and appointments and worries and concerns over my child’s health.
But… aren’t those the days that really make me a better mom? My kids can be pretty content on the beach all by themselves. When they are hurting and I am the one who is strong and holding them through their tears… that is the moment I get to grow and have the privilege to give to them some portion of the Love that God gives to me.
I have heard so much complaining lately. There is anger and bitterness over politics. There are divides in the church. There is fear and hurt and jealousy running rampant in our society.
As we’ve set aside this time of year for our time of Thanksgiving, I suggest we all stop our negative words dead in their tracks. They have no place. They are not productive.
Don’t sacrifice another moment of your life to them!
Instead, give thanks.
Give thanks for EVERY good gift.
Maybe you don’t have as much as this person or that, but you have something.
Do you have shoes? Do you have clothes? Shelter? Food? Do you have a church family? Do you have the right to vote? Do you have a strong mind? Do you have breath in your lungs?
Do you have trials of every sort?
Give thanks for that, too.
EVERY good gift comes from God.
Start, right now, making a list of things you are thankful for.
I can tell you one that I know for sure: you should be thankful you didn’t have to clean stinky, sandy poop-mud off another human’s butt today.
See? Don’t you feel better already?