Have you ever heard those two words together before? I know I sure haven't. However, that is exactly what God brought to my mind as I lay in bed after a long week at school. I was thinking about the pain running through my body and the fatigue and weakness in my joints and muscles and then I thought about the words "chronic pain" and how depressing and negative that sounded. Then the words "chronic thankfulness" popped into my head and I knew these words could only be from my heavenly Father. It all started this morning while I was eating my cinnamon Chex cereal and reading today's devotional from The Quiet Place by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Here is the first half:
Sacrifice. The one word constantly repeated in this text. I can choose to sacrifice peace, contentment, freedom, grace and joy...OR I can choose the sacrifice of thanksgiving. Will it be easy? No. Will it come naturally? No. Will I have to do it alone? No. God has promised me in Hebrews 13:5 "...I will never leave you nor forsake you." The devotional does not end there.
Life is not perfect. We live in a fallen world, we are born with a sin nature, BUT there is redemption. I have been redeemed. God sacrificed His only Son to die for me. Why? Because He loved me so much-much, much more than any person could ever love me. I am His beloved. Despite everything else going on that might be viewed by me or the world as negative- 30, single, autoimmune diseases, living at home, etc.- God is still in control and always has been. He is orchestrating every event of my life to bring Him glory. Jesus never promised it would be simple, cushy, effortless or painless. He told his disciples repeatedly that they would be persecuted, rejected and ridiculed for His name. Matthew 16:24-25 says, "Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.""
So back to "chronic thankfulness." Through the Holy Spirit, I would like to be able to daily thank God for this season of life that requires me to draw nearer to Him each day, to boast in my weakness and to be able to proclaim that it was only through His power and His grace that brought me through each day. God is more than enough and for that truth alone I am forever grateful.