On this beautiful day, I have to admit I have a lot to be thankful for. My health, my family, my friends, a great job, and God’s ongoing provision in my life.
In the spirit of this blog, though, I thought it might be good to reflect on how thankful I am for the challenges God has used in my life.
I can’t begin to count the number of times I have faced challenges at work or in ministry, problems that had no easily identifiable solution. And many of those times, when things seemed hard, I remember thinking, “Is this going to work out?” It’s easier to trust God and believe when everything is going well.
On a more significant note, those of you who are close know that I was diagnosed with and went through extended treatment for cancer in 2000 and 2001. As a young man, facing a diagnosis like that was life changing. I matured a lot through it and am glad to say I’m now at 11 plus years in remission. But that season was a defining time for me as I walked through the first real hard time in my life and had to lean on God for the strength to keep going. When times get hard, it takes a different level of faith and trust in God.
Hebrews tells us that “faith is being sure of what we hope for, certain of what we do not see.” It’s only when we don’t see the answer, the result, the other side, that faith has to kick in. Every one of those challenges, including cancer, God used to grow my capacity to believe Him for a solution or a victory. He reminded me that David had to fight the lion and the bear before he could build the faith to fight Goliath. And fighting Goliath was just one of the big things God had planned for David.
I’m thankful for the victories, but today I also want to say I’m thankful for the challenges. I’m thankful that every little challenge I walk through, even if it seems big in the moment, is increasing my faith for bigger things to come.
Do you have any challenges that you should thank Him for, past or current?