November 26, 2010
Endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things. — 2 Timothy 2:3, 7 It isn’t natural to look for good in bad. It’s far more human, when bad rears its ugly head, to gaze upon it stymied. But when we believe that God designs and redesigns all things for our good, even when the intent of others is for our demise, it allows us to let them off the hook and look up. Our task is to detect and embrace the good, which means we will have to be alert and discerning if we are to benefit from the windbreaker of gratitude. I’m not thankful when my heart is broken, yet I’m grateful that through internal ruptures comes a deeper compassion for others who grieve. I had no idea how unaware and indifferent I was toward the agony of others until I suffered through a season of intense winds and came out of that time with enhanced sensitivity. It wasn’t that I hadn’t cared about others; I just didn’t have a clue what their struggles were costing them until hardships exacted a high price from me. Someone once said, “We can only know joy to the degree we have known pain.” Hardships have the potential of carving out greater space for God’s grace within us. And grace helps us to live with life’s inequities without the disabling residuals of anger, bitterness, and disillusionment. — Patsy Clairmont Excerpted from A Grand New Day © 2008 by Thomas Nelson. Published in Nashville, Tennessee, by Thomas Nelson. Used with permission. All rights reserved.