After a peaceful, noteworthy, or productive day, have you ever thanked the Lord as you would a friend who presented you with a wonderful or thoughtful gift? I know I usually do. Recently, at the end of a particularly satisfying day, I spent some time in prayer thanking God for being so close to me and for blessing me. At that moment I was struck with how absurd and short-sighted my words really were. The Lord doesn't just bless me and walk with me only on days that I enjoy. He is always and consistently working with me and through me for His ultimate good. His blessings and grace are a continuous shower pouring down on me, whether I understand them, appreciate them, or even recognize them.
I think most folks who have been around the block a time or two, can appreciate this statement. Sometimes after we have survived a particularly troubling personal season, and enough distance has put itself between then and now, we can look back with clarity. We come to understand that the painful experience was necessary or that we ultimately ended up better off. I have listened to many folks speak of absolutely excruciating stories where their lives were ripped apart or turned upside down either through their own actions or those of others, but, in time, they came to understand that they were being richly blessed. They would not undo that time for anything. Perhaps they came through stronger and more confident, made peace with a troublesome person, found a job that was much better for reasons that they could never have seen at the time, suffered through a painful divorce and found out who they were or who they were not, or fought with health issues and gained needed perspective. There are endless examples I am sure. The point is that even in the depths of our hurt, we were never alone or forgotten, and the blessings were still pouring down.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. (Isaiah 43:2)
See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. (Isaiah 48:10)
I will bring that group through the fire and make them pure, just as gold and silver are refined and purified by fire. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. (Zechariah 13:9)