Nov 20, 2015

Giving Thanks Through The Struggle And Pain

Thanksgiving is next week, are you struggling to find things to be thankful for.  Do you feel like your life isn't going the way you had planned?  Do you feel like your body isn't cooperating and the pain is sometimes just too much to handle?  Are you wondering where you'll get the money to pay the medical bills much less a turkey?

I have a hard time being thankful, especially when I'm in pain.  This past year I've felt very thankful for the blessings, the healing and the changes that have taken place for us physically, financially and relationally. It's as if that dark cloud that was hovering down over us has finally lifted.
If you're struggling with chronic Lyme disease, or any chronic illness, I'm sure you know how hard it is to keep your spirits up. Sometimes it can feel impossible to find things to be thankful for.  It takes every bit of energy just to do the necessary things each day.

Did you know that being thankful is the most important, necessary thing you should be doing?  Studies have shown that being thankful is actually good for you.  Having a thankful mindset helps you to heal much faster from sickness & disease.  People who are thankful accomplish more, have more friends, and are more likely to succeed.

If this is true, shouldn't we make every effort to be thankful?

The Bible references the phrase "give thanks" at least 73 times. Some of these verses are examples of giving thanks and other times it's a direct command for us to give thanks. We're told to give thanks no matter our circumstances.  God knows how beneficial it is for us to be thankful because He created us.

I would never minimize the struggles or the pain you are suffering.  I know all too well how terrible pain is, how mentally and physically exhausting it is, and what it feels like to think you're never going to get better or be able to have any kind of normalcy in your life.

I've been living with chronic Lyme disease, chronic fatigue and pain since 2007.  I've lived with a child who was completely controlled by anxiety, OCD and rage from her Lyme infection.  I know the financial hardship of a chronic illness that is not covered by insurance. I've experienced the strain of a marriage under so much stress that it should have broken apart. I know, and I would never throw at you platitudes and little petty sayings that really only minimize the struggle.

"Above all of the pain and struggle, I know the God of the universe. I know that by trusting Him for everything, praising Him through the storm, the struggle, the pain and seeking His provision and healing that He does take care of His children. What a wonderful reason to be thankful."

No matter what you're dealing with right now, take some time to really reflect on what you have to be thankful for. Look deep and hard and you just might find a handful of things, you might only find one.

If you can't find anything, be thankful anyway for the pain and the difficult things. Ask God to show you how to glorify Him in the struggle. Make thankfulness a habit and once you have, look again and I promise you that even if your circumstances haven't changed you will have changed.

I hope you have a very thankful Thanksgiving.

Would you like to read more about the benefits of being thankful? Check out these links.

10 Reasons Why Gratitude Is Healthy
7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude That Will Motivate You To Give Thanks Year Round
Why Giving Thanks To God Is Important


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