Thursday, November 2, 2017

Giving Thanks ~ Day Two

When I was a junior in college, there was a storm coming through Edinboro. I wanted to call my grandmother that night but figured I'd call her the next day. She'd recently been released from the hospital and was going to start outpatient dialysis the following day. The morning after the storm, there was a knock on our apartment door. It was my mom. My grandmother had died the night before and I didn't call.

It took four years and two months for God to redeem what I regretted. 

Shortly after I got engaged, my husband's grandmother was in the hospital with congestive heart failure. I didn't know how bad it was until I asked my mom a question about what was happening in the hospital. When the move a patient from critical care to a step-down unit, logic would tell you they are getting better or at least are holding steady. But when I told my mom what was in the IV drip she said that it meant they couldn't do anything.

And so one evening my husband (then fiance) said he was going to call her earlier but forgot and said he'd just call tomorrow. I handed him the phone and he dialed. Although weak and barely understandable, he did call and hear her voice. She died the next day.

As much as I hated what I went through all those years before, that experience prevented someone else, someone I loved dearly having the same regret. God knew that. He knew that situation would leave a mark on my heart. And for it, I am incredibly thankful.

So much of what we go through has very little to do with us. God uniquely weaves our deepest sorrows into another person's greatest triumphs simply because he can redeem what we endured and build the faith of someone we love at the same time. 

Nothing we go through is meant to end with us. And if we are ignoring or delaying dealing with it, we have to own that we are preventing the harvest that God has promised to reap through it. We can't afford to let what caused our deepest pain remain a shadow in the corner that leaves us fearful. There are too many people that need our experiences to see the hand of God at work in their lives and ours.

Challenge: What experience from your past do you see that ended with you? How can you remember to use it to help someone today or in the future? Are you willing to let God in to redeem what you think is broken beyond repair.

Thanksgiving gratitude challenges have always left me scrambling to write things down at the end of the day. From now until Thanksgiving, we're turning our focus to the things we are most thankful for in the past to remind us of God's ever present faithfulness.

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