(August 3, 2015)
If you have read anything I have ever written before from the scriptures, you know how attracted my metaphorical ears are to absolute words (all, never, always, etc.). So when we are told to be giving thanks always for all things (two absolutes in the same phrase!), I cannot help but notice.
And, of course, this is something that I absolutely true. No matter what happens to us, or how much it may hurt us, it is all part of an absolutely perfect plan – one designed for our ultimate happiness. Unless we have the hubris to think we know better than an omniscient God what would lead to our happiness, or unless we take the position that God is not all-loving, then whatever happens (no matter how unpleasant) is something that we will be grateful for in the future, and if we have faith enough we can be grateful for even now.
I have gone through some extraordinarily difficult times recently. Some of them were deserved based upon mistakes I have made. Some of them were undeserved, and arose from either the mistakes or deliberately wrong acts of others. Regardless of their sources, I have felt pain that I would not have imagined being possible had I not gone through it.
And yet, in the quiet moments, I find myself drawn further and further into gratitude for all that my Father has given me (including my pain). I am learning things through these painful lessons that I cannot imagine learning any other way. I am gaining the ability to help others in ways that I would likely never have been able to help them had things not worked on this way. I hope and pray that the Lord will grant me relief from this pain, but until such time I trust that all of it will be for my benefit and I will strive to be grateful for it.