To be able to look at the world through the eye of thankfulness is a gift. I can receive the gift or reject it, but it is there nonetheless. There’s hopefully an upside to human nature – kindness toward (or even unexpectedly from) others, and the eternal hope that keeps the beach ball afloat despite the winds and waves. But the downside is that we often don’t exercise looking through thankful eyes unless we’re reminded to or we face loss and then we realize how good we’ve had it and how much we take for granted. Taking without thinking. Taking without fully and deeply experiencing. Dad was just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and Don with neuropathy. As far as “hope”, neither offers any earthly hope for change or improvement. But we’ve also experienced the kindness of others as we face these diagnoses. The goodness of God expressed in the kindness of others giving. Giving with much thought and intentionality. Giving fully and deeply.
Another grace is that as our lives are altered, we choose to live in the present and embrace the future with faith and courage. As we look with grateful eyes as to what we’ve had together, we also celebrate the blessings we’ve received in deeper ways. Joy is discovered in “little things” as we realize how big they are! Are there really little things or maybe we just put them in that category when our eyes are not just taking it all in and joined with a heart that embraces them fully? Just because life can be hard, does not mean that it is not also good. Hard does not automatically equal bad – it just equals…well, hard. Period. But life is good and a gift to be enjoyed. And can be enjoyed and seen in a deeper dimension when we focus on the second part – but GOD is GOOD! When I focus on the goodness of God, it may not take away from the “hardness” I face, but it does put it into a different perspective. And when I put on the “eyes” that search for and find the goodness of God, often hard equals good. I see things I would miss had life not been hard; had I not had to face difficult decisions and experience the loss. Releasing the loss into the hands of a Good God enables me to embrace the joy, courage and faith. Release and embrace. Release what accompanies the “hardness” of life and embrace what accompanies the “goodness” of God.