Gratitude is an interesting day - a characteristic highlighted on this particular national day of celebration, but one which should be an every day thing. Gratitude and thankfulness should be felt and expressed every day.
As a Christian, the Bible tells me to:
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances,
for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NLT
On this Thanksgiving day, I'm grateful for rheumatoid arthritis. But I don't think that's as simple as it may seem. How can I be grateful for disease?
Because of the RA so many good things have happened, and I seem to be headed in a good direction. I like my life. Because of the RA, and the aggressive progression of it, I resigned as counselor in Wendell - not a good thing. But leaving that job brought me back to Nampa, close to my family - and that is a good thing. Since I left that job I'm free to pursue a doctorate - a good thing. When I moved to Nampa I found a new rheumatologist and he's taken very good care of me. That has been a really good thing. After moving here to Nampa I joined the Nampa Rec Center, which is helping me physically and mentally. After moving here I started playing the ukulele.
It's possible I may have done some of these things if I had remained healthy, without RA, and stayed living in Twin Falls. But some (most) of them wouldn't have happened.
However, being grateful in the results does not feel the same as being grateful for the disease. So what does it mean to be "thankful in all circumstances"? Yes I like my life, I am content with my situation. But am I grateful for RA? I don't know how to answer that.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.~ Romans 5:3, NLT