Choosing Thankfulness

Offer to God the sacrifice of thanksgiving… (Psalm 50:14; Amplified Bible)
Photo: graur razvan inonut;
As pain seared my lower back and right leg, I clutched the edge of the nightstand. Will this disease cripple me, I wondered as I lowered myself back on the bed. Though the recent diagnosis of Ankloysing Spondylitis had helped understand the inflammation that attacked my eyes, fingers, hands, back and lungs, I daily struggled with its degenerative nature. How much is enough, Lord?
“Choose thankfulness.” The two words that I had sensed should be my motto through this journey of pain and illness lodged themselves in my heart. I shook my head. How do I choose thankfulness when I could hardly see or walk? Several minutes later when I couldn’t shake those two words, I sighed and stood up. With one hand holding my back and the other gripping the dresser and then the wall for support, I hobbled toward the staircase. “Lord, thank you for my family…and for all who lift me up in prayer. Thanks for the many friends who stand ready to help at a moment’s notice. Thank you for good doctors and insurance… And thank you that despite the pain I can still get around.”
By the time I reached the bottom of the staircase, I had gained a new perspective. Sometimes giving thanks is difficult, even painful. Though my sacrifice of thanksgiving doesn’t alter my circumstances, it sparks within me the ability to see God’s hand in the valley, helping me embrace each day and treasure what I do have. It transforms moments when wistfulness hovers on regret about simple things that I once could do with ease—cooking, cleaning, driving, reading, typing—into gratitude for what I had and opportunities to bless those who step in to serve my family and me. In Jesus, there’s always something for which to give thanks.
So I’m purposing to choose thankfulness through this journey no matter what each day brings because the One who is sovereign walks with me, and He has become my salvation.
Anita Mellott writes to encourage others. She has more than ten years of experience as a writer/editor in the nonprofit world. School Is Where the Home Is, her book of devotionals for homeschooling parents is available at major bookstores and on-line.