When I first began to count my everyday blessings and post them in this blog, I knew that the day would come when giving thanks (aka eucharisteo) would be difficult, if not downright impossible to do. I assumed that day would occur months from now, after my daily posts had accumulated into the hundreds and I was fully prepared to tackle what Ann Voskamp, in her book, One Thousand Gifts, calls hard eucharisteo or giving thanks despite the fact life has given you lemons and you’re just too tired, or too sick, or too emotionally overwhelmed to make lemonade. (my term, not Ann’s!)
Have you guessed it? Today is that day. And much to my chagrin, I’m only on #7!
It really began yesterday afternoon when my lungs began to hurt and my skin began to ache. It started slowly – first my lower back, then my upper arms. When my teeth and hair follicles began to scream in distress, I knew I was in big trouble. With no one at home to take care of me, it seemed best to swallow some Advil, drink lots of water, curl up on the couch and wait it out. Well, twenty four hours have gone by and I’m still waiting…and taking Advil…and drinking lots of water…and I’m still on the couch. So I pose the following question – how can we be thankful when it hurts just to raise a finger to type? At first I thought I should give thanks in all things, so I came up with the following:
- I thank you that I have the flu and not something that is life-threatening
- I thank you that I don’t have to do any housework while I’m sick in bed
- I thank you that I’m going to lose some much needed weight because it hurts too much to swallow.
A feeble attempt – I know! In my heart, I knew that God was calling me to something more, so I waited to see where this would lead me. And I prayed. This is what I’ve come to understand – nothing is wasted in the kingdom of God – nothing enters my life except that it passes through His hands, and to give thanks for all things was going to be a sacrifice on my part. And then I really got it – any sacrifice I make in my life here on Earth is nothing compared to the sacrifice He made for all mankind.
So here you have it…
7. I am grateful for a Savior that set, for all eternity, the holy example of hard eucharisteo in the Garden of Gethsemane.
8. I praise you Lord, that you never give me more than I can bear
9. I thank you Jesus, that when I’m burdened and heavy laden, I can take Your yoke upon me – a yoke in which You carry all the burden while I simply learn to follow your lead.
10. I thank you for this body that is fearfully and wonderfully made, having the capacity to heal itself because you are the Great Physician.
In the meantime, I will wait and wonder and meditate on these things...