5 things I sometimes hate, but I’m thankful for

We’re all thankful for our family, friends, shelter, food, etc. And we should be. But what if this year has been full of more suffering than life’s happiest moments? What if you’re in a painful season? Can you still have a grateful heart? Yes, because of Jesus.

I’M THANKFUL FOR CANCER

Jesus has an eternal, redeeming habit of anointing even the worst situations imaginable. For instance, my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer in 2005, and all I remember begging Him for was time. Time to know her, time to grow a relationship with her, time to love her. Jesus used this terrible thing by allowing me to foster a deep friendship and love for my grandmother. I don’t think I would know her as well if she was healthy, and therefore, as strange as it sounds…I am thankful for that cancer. –Mackenzie

I’M THANKFUL FOR LONELINESS

I am thankful for the times I’ve been lonely, both within and out of the church. From it I’ve seen the importance of Christian community, and so for me it is something precious. Because of those times, I also have the heart to come alongside those seeking community and friendship since I know what it feels like to seek it and not find it. –Reagan

I’M THANKFUL FOR MY SIN

I hate my sin. I hate when I choose my flesh over the Spirit. When I choose idols over my Jesus. But it is so gracious of the Lord to have revealed just how wicked my heart is. I’m thankful I’m not fooled into thinking I’m a good person who can earn my way to God. My sin leads me to worship God because I just can’t believe how steadfastly He loves when I am so unfaithful in return. –Nikki

I’M THANKFUL FOR SINGLENESS

Singleness has truly wonderful benefits, so how can I be thankful for something that afflicts me so deeply? Some days it’s empowering and others I just ache because my soul wants for something so meaningful, but so seemingly unattainable. Maintaining a posture of praise to God for the moments of joy and the moments of loneliness keeps my heart focused on an eternal perspective and reminds me how radically my God loves me (Eph. 2:4-7). –Rachel

I’M THANKFUL FOR CONFLICT

I am thankful for conflict in friendship because it gives me the opportunity to understand my friends and myself better. Yes, it can be awkward and yes, it requires a lot of prayer to close my mouth and open my ears, but surmounting the obstacle builds a stronger relationship. By dying to my own frustration and applying God’s instruction for conflict resolution and peace, I see how being obedient to God’s instructions makes me full. -Katie

This is more than just seeing the silver lining in a situation. It’s more than “counting your blessings” when life is hard. The Christian life is so unique because we can have joy in the suffering, not just despite it. God doesn’t have to be a god who makes beauty out of ashes. But He is. He uses even the ugliness of sin and cancer to bring Him glory and draw us near to Him. And that’s why we’re thankful.

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