It is easy to be thankful when the belly is full, and family laughter fills the warm home. How do you express thankfulness for the struggles and dark times that delivered you to today?
We celebrate our differences; skin tone, hometown, dialect, tattoos, and talents. Only Ken and Barbie are "perfect," and a figment of the toymaker's imagination. Conversations reveal our imperfect stories that are far more complicated than merely being taken out of a box and put on a shelf to be admired.
The beauty of the smile is the character that has overcome the scars of life. The unfulfilled dreams, broken promises, wrongs committed and wrongs suffered are part of the human experience. All are engaged in their own battle, and some have encountered the depths of hell on earth.
This is not where the story ends.
Our path is unique. No one brings the same set of talents with the same assortment of experiences. We must embrace both our brokenness and successes as part of our story.
In this embrace, we encounter the mystery of thankfulness in the abyss of difficult times. It is here that straightness is found in crookedness, beauty in ugliness, and light in the darkness. Often only through the lens of time can the goodness be found.
The wisdom of the ancients fills history books recounting that perseverance can only be attained through pain and suffering. The athlete trains through difficult circumstances to harden her body to prepare for the rigors of competition.
How have you converted what was meant for evil into goodness?
More hard times are on the way and will require your perseverance and strength. Turning to face your history and finding a reason for thankfulness will embolden you as the sun rises on tomorrow. Tomorrow is expecting a stronger you to climb out of the ashes.
Going Further: What challenges are you now thankful you encountered? How does this inform your perspective on difficulty? How have these experiences helped you relate to others? How does your brokenness influence your thankfulness?