It's Thanksgiving Day.
As I write, our feast is finished, our guests are gone, and the Cowboys are beating Seattle.
Now that it's quiet, what better time to reflect on what I'm most thankful for?
Father, I thank You for:
*The family You've given me.
*The job You've provided for me, and the purpose I find in it.
*The fact that this physical life is not the whole story.
*Your church on earth; we're not alone in our faith.
Not to minimize any of these things, but I am conscious of my gratitude for them most of the time.
Today, for whatever reason, I am particularly thankful for something else:
*The times when You've allowed me to endure hardship, and through hardship brought about growth in me that I could never have foreseen. Growth I didn't even want, and hardship I never would have chosen.
I know many have suffered more pain than I have, and many might trade their circumstances for mine in a minute. But I also know that You work in my life, and on my heart, and You've made me more like You than I was before.
I don't desire difficulty; I would never pray for pain. But I do pray for growth, for continued growth, and to be molded and shaped by Your hand. This is what I desire.
And if it hurts, it hurts.