For What Adversities Are You Thankful?

My husband and I, and our son, and his family, had been invited to our daughter and her husband’s home for Thanksgiving dinner. It has always been a tradition in our family to say grace and state the things we are thankful for as we sit around the Thanksgiving table. That year was no different. I had a phone call from my son-in-law, a week before Thanksgiving, asking if I would mind preparing and giving the devotional at the Thanksgiving celebration.

When the big day arrived, the usual greetings were bestowed upon loved ones; then we found our seats around the festively decorated table. I was given a place of honor next to our oldest son, Billy. The others in the family took their places; the dinning room took on a feeling of togetherness, love, thankfulness and plenty.

It was then time for me to give the devotional; I began as all gave me their undivided attention. Having lived with multiple sclerosis for well-over-thirty-nine years I had learned to look for things to be thankful for in perhaps different ways than do most people. So it was that I had prepared my devotional on blessings that come to us in unusual ways.

My oldest son, I had always felt thought his mother had been handed a bum-rap in life. As a matter-of-fact, I had always thought he held a secret grudge against God for the disease that took away so many of my abilities. I didn’t know how to get across to him, though I had often tried, that God was not to be blamed for my misfortune.

In my devotional, I spoke about things that appear at first as adversities but often end up as blessings. I talked about how little blessings actually turn out to be big blessings sometimes, and about those blessings that come in disguises.

As I gave the devotional to my families attentive ears, I ended by saying, “As much as I detest the disease multiple sclerosis, and though it has been one of my greatest burdens, it has also been one of my biggest blessings. It has taught me a great deal, deepening my faith, making me look at life and its blessings much more appreciatively.”

My son turned to me and in a low voice he said, “Mom, are you saying, after me praying all these years for your deliverance from MS that it is one of your biggest blessings?”

“Yes, son, it is; now you can start praying for something else,” I replied.

We all bowed our heads in prayer, and gave thanks to the Father above who knows how to give blessings in abundance. Then, I breathed a private prayer to God thanking Him for a lesson in life He gave to me, to give to my son.

We often look for, and pray for those things we think will bring us good fortune, increase our notoriety or boost our financial standings. We ask for good health plus a bounty of wealth. We ask God to bless us with all the obvious “things” we and others can see as good fortune. But God’s goodness and blessings, often, do not come by the way of “things”.

If you are one who thinks blessing always come to you wrapped up in shiny paper with a fancy bow; check again.

One of the biggest blessings I have been given has come by the way of the biggest adversity in my life - multiple sclerosis. Oh, I hate the disease, but I am amazed at the wisdom it has brought to me. I don’t know that God gave me this disease, but no doubt God used it to bless me. It is also a tool God has used for me to witness, inspire, and encourage others. He, too, has used it to show His strength in me.

For what adversities are you thankful for in your life? Have you found blessings in the valleys – have you looked for them there?

The Bible tells us God can turn a curse into a blessing. This Thanksgiving give God thanks for the blessings He gives, even those He distributes through the adversities in your life.

Betty King

Betty has lived with MS for over forty years. She is the author of three books, a Life Style and Devotional newspaper columnist, and speaker.

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