Thursday, 29 November 2012

Viruses and Gratitude

You take it for granted. I know you don’t mean to. It’s natural.

When was the last time you jumped into the air with joy for being able to read?
When did you cry for happiness at the thought of three square meals a day?
How many times do you fall on your knees and praise God for the Internet?

Two days ago I was vomiting up my guts. I won’t get too graphic, but I was up half the night and my stomach felt like someone had ripped it out, chewed it up, and then stuffed it back in with a plunger. Today I feel amazing, completely normal.

Wait a minute.

How often do we hear those two words used together? Amazing + Normal.  

Original Photo: Tears, a photo by Έλενα Λαγαρία on Flickr.
We all forget. The monotonous cycle of life numbs us into accepting the status quo. We’re always getting used the present and looking toward the future. 

The only reason I’m so thankful for a quiet stomach is because it has been unquiet. The only reason I praise God for flexible muscles is because my body has been aching. The only reason I’m grateful for my strength is because I’ve been lying around on horizontal surfaces like a limp dishrag

And that brings me to today’s shocking revelation—

We cannot appreciate our blessings until we have suffered.

I don’t know the answer to the immortal problem of pain, but let me ask you this: the things you are especially grateful for right now, would you value them so highly if you had never been in danger of losing them?

We can glibly write out a couple dozen reasons to give thanks, but the anthems of gratitude that come spontaneous to our lips in the silence of the night, when there is no one but God to hear, those are the sacrifices of praise that must make God’s heart thrill.

Remember this in the good times. 

When everything is going right, when life has settled into a gentle rhythm,  remember that suffering paves the way to gratitude. Take this moment to thank the Lord for all those things you might have lost, all those things you might still lose. If you don’t give thanks for this second, you’ll never get another chance.

This recent battle with a  stomach virus has forced me to mull these things over. Maybe you’ve had a similar experience. What are you taking for granted? Do you have any suggestions for how we can be grateful for the things we think are “normal”? 


  1. This post is truly one of the most beautiful and encouraging I have ever read. So many times I struggle with thoughts of discontent and worry about various concerns I have, and then if something gets taken away, even if it is a little thing like our internet crashes for a few days, I realize then how very grateful I should be each day to the God that has given me so much.
    Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom with us, you are a very encouraging and enlightening young lady.

  2. Thank you so much for your heartening comment, Elizabeth! I think that the secret I'm discovering is that even when we don't *feel* thankful, we can still *give* thanks. That would be our sacrifice.

    Here's another blog post on thanks-giving that you might enjoy:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...