Gratitude For Mercies in Disguise

“What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise.”


 

I have come to believe that suffering is the strongest conduit of God’s love for His people. And ironic as the rest of the Christian life, suffering brings intense thanksgiving into the hearts of His beloved.

Suffering comes to us, sometimes for our benefit, sometimes for someone else’s and always for God’s. Usually, our earthly suffering is met by an equal or greater force of love that streams through the hands and feet of His saints. Such as been the case for us this year.

And yet I’ve thought…“What if this suffering had no tangible blessing attached? Could I look up, with heaven-ward eyes, and praise Him for the ‘trying of my faith that works patience’? Could I ‘endure hardship like a good soldier?”

The night I tried to wrap my mind around the fact that our physical world was completely demolished, was the same night the floodgates of gratitude broke loose. Gratitude for our physical safety, for being with other believers and the comfort that provided, for the way God made men to respond to crises, for the “shock and numbness” He gives to protect us from what may be too overwhelming and then, every day since, for the love by which we have been flooded, from so many, including you, as you reach out and offer yourself to us.

And even our neighbors, who lost their father and husband that night, have expressed the same overflowing thankfulness to their Heavenly Father for the richness of this experience–the kind that leaves the world scratching its head and scoffing for lack of a reasonable response.

Suffering brings awareness of our need. Suffering brings humility and forces us retain our humanity and compassion. Suffering brings a fortitude of spirit and a deeper awareness of the smallest blessing. Suffering illuminates God’s glory. Suffering allows grace to break through and wash over the soul.

Praise Him for suffering.

May you all be filled, wherever you are, with gratitude this Thanksgiving season, and may I offer mine to you, once again, for the way you have loved me so earnestly.

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10 Responses to “Gratitude For Mercies in Disguise”

  1. Mrs. Santos says:

    I love how you wrote that “Suffering illuminates God’s glory.” How beautiful and true. A friend shared with me once the analogy of an intricate wood carving. If you had a plain block of wood and ran a soft and silky scarf over it the block would never change. But that is what we usually want – a soft and silky experience. It is the chisels and hammers, the scraping and carving that turns the wood into something magnificent…what the Maker intended.

    God bless you. Happy Thanksgiving. We are THANKFUL FOR YOU!

  2. Mrs Hayley Ferguson says:

    I was just thinking the same thing this morning. I’m 9 weeks pregnant with no.10 and I’m sick in bed and vomiting alot and I can’t achieve very much for my family and as frustrating as this down time is; I thank the Lord for the lessons He’s teaching us all and his mercy I’m not more sick and for the new life. Thank you for such an encouraging post, Kelly.

  3. Lauren says:

    God bless you and your family! And thank you for your willingness to share with us what God is doing in your lives. It has really blessed me to read your journey.
    I found out recently that my family (Scottish) came from a clan whose family motto on their crest was ‘Learn to suffer’. It blew my mind a bit at the time, and I think about what it means a lot, to learn to suffer with Christ alongside.

  4. LuAnne says:

    I agree, completely. Suffering is not pleasant while we experience it, it’s painful and sometimes seems unbearable – yet how often do we look back later and see how the experience deepened our faith and our strength? The struggle – for me most of all – is to speak the praise in the moment of the trial, and not later when I “know” what God’s plan was … to speak the praise before I “know”, before I can look back and understand … simply to thank Him in faith.

  5. 6 arrows says:

    Thanking God for the blessing you are to us, Kelly, as you live and grow in Him from Whom all blessings flow. Thank you for showing us your journey and giving God the glory throughout. (Oh, and thanks for putting Laura Story’s song Blessing in my head with the line above the picture…love that song!)

    Wishing you and your family a most blessed Thanksgiving!

  6. Natalie says:

    Love your new “look” here. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving my friend! I’m praying for you…

  7. Jasmine says:

    Thank God for you, friend. You have continually demonstrated a steadfastness that only inspires and encourages to the glory of God.

  8. A Reader says:

    So easy for you to say Kelly! You have family, church, friends, etc. What if you had no one? I know, I know, you would have God. But what if you had no friends to donate money, no one to spend time with, you were all alone. What if, after losing your house, there was no one to call, no one to send money, no one to care? Where would you be if not one person gave you anything?
    There are those of us like that out here. Through no fault of our own, parents die, you have to move because of your husband’s job, and soon, it is just you and your husband and you are ALONE. No church family, no friends, just you.

    • Linda says:

      Dear Reader, I have been in this place you describe– this place of feeling like you’ve lost everything. At the time, it felt like the end of my world, but if you are paying attention when the earth is pulled out from under you, you realize God is still holding you up. When there is no shoulder to cry on, you cry to God. When there is no help around you, you discern God’s help. When all the easy circumstances, physical comforts and human relationships fail and the room’s not so crowded you see God standing there with arms wide open. We’re like little kids, so focused on the dessert, we fail to see the nourishing feast spread out to fill our every need… so God, in His mercy, sometimes witholds the dessert.

      A Christian should never see his/her cup as half empty or half full. If we are in a relationship with God, regardless of our earthly circumstances, our cups are always full to excess– with HIM–that is enough grace to carry us through every circumstance, with so much left over that we just splash grace all over everyone around us. We stop looking for other people and our circumstances to meet our needs because we are so aware of the fullness of God overwhelming us. We no longer lean on everyone else from a place of emptiness. Instead we reach from a life of abundance to meet the need of those around us.
      I grew up in a Christian home. I did not understand these things until God intervened to show me, through a long process, and I am so grateful now. I know that it is different to grasp the idea with our minds and another to know it with the our hearts. Only God can teach each of us.
      Kelly doesn’t share because it’s easy for her. She shares because she knows how hard it is, and that the goodness of God working the hard places of her life has the potential to increase our faith.

      I am sorry that you are hurting. I pray that you will know this goodness of God, that you will no longer feel alone, but overflow from a place of abundance.

  9. Word Warrior says:

    Linda spoke well. And David, too…”I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”

    Admittedly, hardships are lighter when we bear one another’s burdens–it’s one of the benefits of community of the saints. If you are a believer, you belong to the body of Christ. Do not separate yourself from the community of that body because bearing your burdens are what they are there for. If your church doesn’t do that, they aren’t a real church…find another one.

    And, if you’ll let me put my love into action, send me your real name and real email address or physical address.

    May the Lord comfort your heart and prove faithful to provide for your every need.

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