Today I read chapter 4 in Lessons I Learned in the Dark by Jennifer Rothschild. She wrote about rejoicing in your God-given gifts; especially the difficult ones. If most people wrote that, it would not be as powerful as when she, a blind woman, writes it. If she can rejoice in her God-given difficult gift, then I should be able to rejoice in mine, too. Here are some of my favorite parts of this chapter.

The only difference between becoming bitter and becoming better is the letter I. Approaching our difficulties from the standpoint of what I want, what I have lost, or what I think is fair will embitter us. Bitter eyes can perceive only the injustice and the sorrow in our situation. Grateful eyes, however, will always see the grace of God, regardless of how difficult our circumstances might be. Grateful eyes allow us to see “the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13).

This was so appropriate for my week. Just yesterday I told my husband, Chris, that it wasn’t fair that I had to either be depressed and feeling towards people or social and devoid of all emotion. I told him that I want so badly to be social and feeling. She goes on to quote 1 Thessalonians 5:18:

Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

She also writes,

Being thankful in all circumstances shows that we’re acting in accordance with the will of God–who always gives us what is best for us.

Is your closed fist extended in anger, or is your open hand lifted to Him? Only an open hand receives the blessings that accompany difficult gifts, and sometimes it’s only in a package wrapped in heartache that we receive the fullness of God’s grace.

Faith is the most essential ingredient for gratefully receiving whatever God lovingly allows, and it can be the greatest source of blessing in our lives when we learn to see what it sees. But to do that, we have to look at our lives from the right perspective.

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so is pain and heartache.

But if seeing is a physical function of the eye, it’s also a spiritual function of the soul, and what we see through the window of hardship depends on the perspective we choose.

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. (1 Peter 4:12-13, NIV)

I could probably quote the whole chapter; it was wonderful! But, I’ll let you read it and let it bless you. I really can’t even add anything to it. It speaks for itself. I thank God that I read it when I needed to hear it. God is good at that sort of thing, isn’t He?

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