Seeing Growth in the Midst of Suffering

Why One Adopted Person Is Thankful for Tough Times

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8: 38-39).

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.

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