Having travelled onward and through one of a variety of tunnels resembling hell, we celebrate the memory of the thought: once I was there, but for now, no more. There is one emotion we feel; presented generously as a virtue...
We are thankful or, otherwise, grateful:
1. For, while the experience was tough beyond measure, we learned much about ourselves and life. This learning tended us towards wisdom. We begin to appreciate the biblical principle outlined in Hebrews chapter 12—discipline never feels right at the time, but it works for our good later if we respond appropriately.
2. To have survived such tremors and the devastation that followed. This commands serious reflection; it was either a great escape or a skilful exit imbued in patience. Anyone who’s survived such inordinate terror has had their values of life significantly realigned. Truth has become victor.
3. For the energy—that we once brashly took for granted—that’s now been returned to us. God, our Provider, is good! Now we will be more responsible with our reserves of energy, appreciating it all the more, even investing in activities of renewal.
4. For the enhancement of our vision. We are now plugged into compassion for the suffering, lonely, and desperate. We have received such a gift and it is ours ever more. This is the wisdom of love which is added to the practicalities of wisdom which are elsewhere highlighted.
5. To note the presence of others who stood by us through thick and thin. This awkward and strenuous phase of life proved the value of friendship and, more, the attribute of courage in those who waded through the miry clay with us. What made this doubly special is many of these weren’t compelled to help; they chose to.
6. That it’s not only the present moment we are thankful for, but the bold and brimming future that waits in store. Bright with hope, because of our endurance, we plunge forward with an eye on tomorrow, and breath saved for that run. Our experience entitles us to fear not.
7. For the changes we had to accept, that seemed forced at the time, but now appear as part of the journey to who we’ve become. Our trust during such hard times is revealed as faith, now, to succeed. Faith, as a result, is never easier.
Having traversed hell, and trudged the muddy and shell-shocked trenches, we feel vindicated—no less, thankful—for the faith to endure, that got us out the other side.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.