I felt torn inside. Things were not going well at home, and some family members were experiencing some significant struggles. But, things at work were going very well, and I could tell that I was being blessed in those efforts.
I knew that I had been blessed with many things, but there was a significant distance inside between the feelings of gratitude for the good and the feelings of despair for the bad. It felt like I was simultaneously on a high mountain and a low, dark valley, and that there wasn’t anything in between.
Seeing that I was being blessed with my work efforts, it made me wonder why I also wasn’t being blessed with my efforts at home. Overall, as I tried to assess the situation, I wondered what was expected of me. Should my gratitude for success at work outweigh the despair I felt over the situation at home?
I have seen others in these same situations. Cancer may strike a family, but the neighborhood may come together in support of the family. The family may feel a deep sense of loss and fear and love at the same time. There are plenty of other situations as well, but hardships often have good parallels that also occur.
As I would try to manage the various feelings, I experimented with focusing on the good. Would it take away the pain from the bad that was occurring? No, I discovered, no matter how much genuine gratitude I could muster for the good, it didn’t take away the pain or difficulty of the other situations.
But, I did discover that gratitude helped me in a way that I didn’t expect. Gratitude for the good that came into my life helped strengthen my belief that I was not alone and that there was a reason or purpose for what was taking place. The gratitude I could muster helped me realize that God was in the details, and that He would ensure that I would have what I needed.
This then led me to think about hardships, trials, and unfortunate situations. My prayers were usually for health, prosperity, love at home, and the like, and I knew that if God could bless my work, He could also bless my family. But, the prayed for blessings to get out of the low valley weren’t coming.
As I continued to reflect on these two situations occurring at the same time, I found myself gaining more faith in the fact that we aren’t supposed to avoid all bad situations, and that I wasn’t supposed to try and ensure that my children never faced a hardship or trial.
We learn from the good and bad that comes into our lives. Taking a few moments to be grateful for the good amidst the hardships that come has helped me have more faith that good will come, that there is a purpose, and that we will receive the things that we need.
So, this Thanksgiving, if things aren’t perfect in your life, don’t try to pretend that you have to be grateful for everything taking place. But, picking one thing that is a blessing and feeling some gratitude with that can bring an increased faith, belief, and resolve to continue moving forward. Good things are still ahead, and you still have a place and purpose amidst all that is taking place in our world.
At Believe, we are a community of individuals who are working to help build good in the world. We aren’t perfect, and neither are our lives, but we believe that the world’s best days are still ahead. We would love to have you join us.