I am grateful for many things in life, but the things I am most thankful for, are the things that, at first, brought me the most pain.
I am grateful for being rejected and isolated as a child. It helps me be compassionate and embrace those whom I am tempted to reject.
I am grateful to have loved and not be loved in return. It was then that I learned to love without expectation.
I am grateful for the times in life where I have reached the end of myself and could go no further. That’s when I learned to walk in faith.
I am grateful to have been misunderstood and judged. It pushes me to dig deeper and investigate further.
I am grateful to have been betrayed by someone I love. It taught me how to treat others the way I want to be treated instead of how they’ve treated me.
I am grateful for experiencing a level of fear that bordered insanity. From it, I learned to tell the difference between reality and illusion.
I am grateful to have been underestimated. It was then that I learned to push myself and achieve heights I never thought possible.
I am grateful to have held a dying hand. It was then that I got a glimpse of the glorious home that awaits us on the other side.
I am grateful to have been humiliated. It teaches me to treat all people with respect and honor.
I am grateful for being abandoned. It taught me to reach out to the lonely and the hurting.
I am grateful for the many tears I’ve cried. From them, I learned how to heal brokenness.
I am grateful to have been targeted and excluded. It forced me to learn how to stand, even if I am standing alone.
Finally, I am grateful for the Bible. To me, it is not some dusty old book full of antiquated ideas. It is a collection of sacred works, filled with timeless teachings, worthy of the time and effort it takes to rightly divide and responsibly study.
Without it, I would be intolerant, unloving, skeptical and critical, never searching for the underlying truth and only believing in what I could physically understand.
I’d be untrusting, fearful and displaced and, as such, isolate myself hoarding my pain, never learning how to heal the hurt.
I wouldn’t be willing to press through difficult situations, so, I’d never reveal the greatness within.
I’d undoubtedly find myself angry, disconnected and irreparably broken.
So, yes, I am grateful for the Bible. From it, I learned how to count it all joy.
– Lynnette Bradford
Originally published November 24, 2016 for the Be Still and Know online devotional