It’s so very easy to see all that’s wrong with life. Maybe this is my condition as a sensitive realist, or maybe it’s just my condition as a human. My natural bent does not seem to be to practice gratitude. I try to look for silver linings in life. I try to see the bright side. At times that’s difficult, when I get inside my own head, when I fix my eyes on all that’s broken around me. Why do those wrong things draw my eye so much more easily than all the things that are right?
Granted, we’ve had some difficult blows in the past few years. By now I’m beginning to wonder if life is ever without difficult blows…. They seem to be around every bend. Is this adulting? Maybe I should pass. Ah, but that’s not an option. Reminds me of Micah when I tell him it’s time to do something. For instance:
“Micah it’s time to go to bed.”
“No, I don’t want to go to bed.”
“Well, you have to. So you can either choose to come over to the chair and we’ll read and sing and then go to bed, or I can just put you right in bed and leave. Your choice.”
“I don’t want either choice.”
“Well, you have to choose one. The choice is yours.”
The choice is yours. How are we going to do this? Usually he makes a good choice. And, as it turns out, living through the broken places in this world isn’t really a choice either. But how we do it, that’s our choice.
In spite of the many broken places in my life, I’m going to choose to believe that God has already intervened on my behalf countless times. He has already answered my prayers, in ways seen and unseen. He has already saved me in so many ways. It’s much easier to see the brokenness that remains. Much of it is in my face daily. But I want to choose instead to see the ways he has saved me.
I’ve had a stroke, which has altered my health, sometimes my daily function, and the future forecast for my once growing family. But I’m still breathing, walking, talking, caring for my family. not incapacitated, not impaired, not in the ground. My son, whom I was carrying at the time of this minor stroke, is perfectly healthy. Not only was my life at stake, but his was too, depending on my health as he grew. And here we are. Thank you, God.
My daughter still struggles with developmental delays and a speech disorder. There are times where I can cope well with this reality. Other times my heart bleeds, and bleeds, and bleeds. But lately it occurs to me what life for her could have been like. When she was four months old, we knew nothing of what her future might hold. So I choose to believe that God touched her body when we began to pray. I choose to believe that her life is different because God has been good to her. I choose to see what her life could have been, or that it could have even ceased to be. But here she is. Thank you, God.
There will always be many things wrong with life. But there are still so many things that are RIGHT. RIGHT. I want to see what’s right. Instead of focusing on what’s wrong, I want to be aware of the ways that God has blessed my life, saved my life. But, even if he didn’t, he has still saved me for eternity. Even if I lost it all like Job, I can know that “my Redeemer lives and in the end he will stand up on the earth. After my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God, I myself will see him with my own eyes — I and not another!” Thank you, God.