This week we had to buy new school uniforms. My daughter is moving up from prep into grade 1 so she gets to wear a dress (which she is very excited about). My son is starting kindergarten so it was uniforms for both of them. I was horrified at the price that was being charged for these clothes. It just seemed completely unjustifiable – and I started to feel quite bitter.
This morning, we had a very emotional service at our church. We heard the story of a couple whose 1 year-old-son is battling cancer. This is a long-term struggle for all of them and it brings continual challenges. After that, we heard from another couple whose child was born prematurely and only lived a few hours. They had undergone a lot of medical procedures in an attempt to save the little boy, but in the end he didn’t make it.
During the interview, the father shared some words that he had prepared for the funeral. He was talking about why he was thankful in all of this. One thing that he shared really struck a chord with me. “There is no room in a thankful heart for bitterness.” Here was a young man whose first-born son had been taken from him hours after birth. If anyone had a reason to be bitter it was him – but he had found a way to defeat the bitterness through thankfulness.
I then looked at myself. The things I was feeling bitter over didn’t seem so important any more. Isn’t it interesting that those going through impossibly difficult circumstances are often those with the best attitudes. I think it’s because their eyes are opened to the truth of how much they need God.
I’m going to make an effort to cultivate a more thankful heart.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18.