I hate to call today a rough day. I think about the many people in my life who are suffering. My mom’s battle with cancer, my two nephews who are in the hospital for bone marrow transplants, and the toll that these difficulties are taking on my dad and my sisters and their husbands. They have been having some really rough days…I shouldn’t be able to claim the term for myself. Still, there are those days when discouragement sets in and you are not quite sure why. Today was one of those days, and when I learned that a paper I have been working on will for the most part need to be redone, I left campus feeling pretty down.
Then I come home to this…
As you can imagine…it’s quite impossible to remain discouraged when brought face to face with such blessings. Further, the blessings in my life shine all the brighter in the face of doubt and discouragement. Trials work like a highlighter in our lives which illumine the good gifts from God that we sometimes forget or take for granted. And of course, when we are reminded of the good gifts of God, we remember the greatest gift of all…Jesus Christ. We who were once dead in our sins have been made alive because Jesus took upon himself the punishment we deserve. God’s kindness should astound us…it should take our breath away each day.
I came home today and played with my son, who laughed and smiled and filled me with so much joy. And I had a nice birthday dinner with my wife, who cooked me a meal and prayed for me. She is often an anchor for me and I love her so much. I am blessed and thankful. Not only for the things I enjoy, but for those difficult days that highlight God’s blessings in my life and point me to Christ.
I don’t know what trials you may be facing. They may be really huge, or they may be as simple as a rough day. It may be poor health, physical suffering, financial struggle, the suffering of a loved one, or any number of things. Take some time to count the good gifts of God. Let your trials point you to Christ, and his suffering on your behalf. This world is full of tribulation, but Christ has overcome the world. This world is filled with death, but Christ has conquered death. In this world there will be tears, but Christ will wipe them all away. This world is temporary, but in Christ there is eternal joy. Look to him, be saved, and rest.