Learning to Count It All Joy: A Reflective Poem

February 13, 2019

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


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