I can't tell you how many times my parishioners have amazed me. Today I am thinking of one woman in particular. While I was on vacation she became ill and got a very shocking diagnoses of cancer. The severity of the cancer was not known at first, but the amount of pain she experienced was excruciating. Within the span of three week she moved in with her daughter, her family emptied her house for sale, and she began treatment for a very aggressive form of cancer. When going to visit her yesterday, all I could think of was the losses she had experienced. Loss of independence, loss of privacy, loss of control. Yet, in her first words to me she expressed how extremely blessed she felt.
In church on Sunday we talked about praise. We are called to praise God, but it is not always easy to remember to praise God. A passage from 1 Thessalonians reads, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." One parishioner pointed out how praise comes more easily when things are either going really well or really bad. It is those times when life is just 'okay' that we forget to thank God for our blessings. It is understandable why we would praise when life is good, but why when things are difficult? Maybe because when life is at its worst we can appreciate the small blessings even more... loving family, a warm cup of tea, a comfy blanket that's soft on our skin.