I know that Thanksgiving is almost a month behind us already but the other day I found myself needing the challenge of thinking of what I was thankful for. Oddly enough the first thing that popped into my head was sickness. It surprised me and I had to wonder "now where in the world did that one come from." As I wondered about it I was reminded of how true that really is, I am thankful for sickness.
I guess you could say that rather I'm grateful for the lessons I've learned as a result of sickness. Weird? Yes, I guess. But let me try to help you understand my reasoning:
I've had my share of chronic illnesses, not as many as others for sure, and, thank God, I've not yet experienced an illness with serious, long-term, side-affects. It was hard but I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything. They have played a crucial part in the making and molding process that has shaped the person that I am so far.
Think about it. Without sickness and illnesses there is so much we'd be missing out on. We'd never feel the need to be grateful for good health. Or the drive to stay in good health. It builds and strengthens relationships. Without it we wouldn't know how to relate to others who may be going through the same or a similar illness. We'd have one less reminder of just how short and precious life really is. It humbles us. When you're sick, often, you have to depend on or have the help of some one else, because you're just too weak to do it all on your own. It brings a new perspective into daily life. Each moment of strength and good health is a moment to be celebrated! Those moments, though maybe few and far between, are however the brightest moments during this trial.
You learn to find joy in every little thing. How bright the sun is one day. How comforting the sound of the rain the next. The melodious sound of laughter. The warming smile brought on by a heart-felt word from a caring friend. It truly is the little things in life that bring us the greatest joy, in the face of tribulation.
For example last winter as I was going through a difficult time with my health God, quite often, used something rather small to readjust my view on things. It was a kaleidoscope that had been given to me by a friend as a birthday present, some years ago. Weekly, sometimes even daily, when I began to feel discouraged and I'd feel the need to readjust my outlook on things, I'd spend several moments just looking through that kaleidoscope. It was just one of those little things that reminded me to keep up hope and to continue living with joy. It's easy to become discouraged in such a time but if you turn it around and look at it through "Joys' Kaleidoscope" you can see how you might gain so much more through this trial than you ever would've if you'd remained completely healthy.
If you know someone who is going through a difficult time with their health think of the small meaningful things you could do for them.
If you are the one experiencing an illness,
remember, to take a look through the kaleidoscope.