As children of God, we are all in the wonderful process of being healed by our Great Physician, Jesus. His healing can be evidenced in a new-found appreciation for life, as we learn to enjoy Him.
Webster’s defines appreciation like this: “To be grateful for; to value highly; to place a high estimate on; to be fully aware of; to prize; to exercise wise judgment, delicate perception, and keen insight in realizing the worth of something.”
This appreciation is like a scar, for it grows in the very place that pain once lived. Pain that was self-inflicted or caused by another. It’s like the gold that comes forth from the refining process, or the beautiful rose blossom that bursts for from the thorn-laden stem. Like Job after his suffering, we may confess, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you” (42:5).
As this writer took time to look back over the years, there came a new desire to praise God for the trials. See if you identify with any of these:
• I didn’t appreciate the acceptance of Christ until I had been utterly rejected.
• I didn’t appreciate His strength until I allowed myself to become weak.
• I didn’t appreciate His loyalty until another betrayed me.
• I didn’t appreciate His grace until I fell flat on my face.
• I didn’t appreciate family living close by until they moved far away.
• I didn’t appreciate the Lord’s belief in me until I knew the sting of persecution.
• I didn’t appreciate the Light of the Lord’s countenance until I sat in darkness.
• I didn’t appreciate the little things in life until I looked death straight in the face.
• I didn’t appreciate the healing Balm of Gilead until I had been deeply wounded.
• I didn’t appreciate the comforting shoulder of a friend until my heart had been broken.
• I didn’t appreciate the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit until I felt totally abandoned.
• I didn’t appreciate intimacy with God until I spent time in the desert.
• I didn’t appreciate the hope of heaven until I buried a loved one.
• I didn’t appreciate the privilege of prayer until I had no one to whom I could turn.
• I didn’t appreciate Jesus as Lord until my life became unmanageable.
• I didn’t appreciate Jesus as Life until I came to the absolute end of my own resources.
“It doesn’t really matter how great the pressure is; what really matters is where the pressure lies—whether it comes between you and God or presses you nearer his heart.”
—Hudson Taylor, Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret