A few days ago, I started writing things I was thankful for. My goal was to write something every day for the month of November that I was thankful for as a reminder to all that life has to offer. For a few days, that worked. Then, as sometimes happens, life threw a curve ball. It was major and meant life was now changing. And I stopped writing. For the last few days I simply could not find something to put on paper to be thankful about. Today one of the blogs I subscribe to (in)Courage talked about “inconvenient gratitude.” It spoke to how we are always thankful IF it is convenient. If it’s something good, we’re quick to be thankful. What about the times when life isn’t so good? This particular post really hit me between the eyes today.

It is often those times that we can’t see the things to be thankful for. I really cannot remember ever saying “I’m thankful that my friend hurt my feelings.” “I’m so grateful for the loss of what I thought was a long term business relationship with someone.” “I’m so glad I had that argument with my family member and thankful for how little they understand me.” Or even “I’m so glad the scales showed a 5 pound weight gain this week after all the desserts I skipped and exercising I did.” No, absolutely not. It is NOT during these times that we are thankful for much of anything.

When we have trials in life, we learn and grow. Without them, we are not growing. The hard times test our faith. Thinking on these things has reminded me of the book I recently read by Max Lucado “Fearless.” It is so true that faith and fear cannot coexist. When I began to say “why me” these last few days, I was reminded in a still voice “Why not you?” Ugh, as much as we hate to hear those words, it is true. And it is only through going through the fire of those trials that we grow and come out stronger on the other side, stronger in our faith and understanding of what the Master plan is for our life.

So is it a choice? Yes, I believe everything in life is a choice. So today, I am choosing to be thankful for even the hard times because I know that the testing of my faith develops perseverence. It is a growth opportunity and one I choose to embrace. And in that, I am reminded that I am thankful for a community of people, many of whom I have never met, who are there upholding me in their thoughts and prayers during hard times. While I don’t look forward to hard times, I will be thankful for them because I know in the end they will bring growth and clarity of purpose.

What about you? Do you have a tough time being thankful when times are hard? Have you found a way to turn your thinking around and find the things to be thankful for in the trials of your own life?

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