Giving thanks for obvious blessings is not difficult. Giving thanks for the tough stuff, the things that look like anything but blessings, takes real faith.
I’ve written on another Thanksgiving about giving thanks for what I call “disguised gifts” in Abundant Gifts. I wrote that when we give thanks for things that don’t seem on the surface like good things, our faith opens the way for God to turn it into a blessing.
Some things we experience are downright painful, and part of living in this broken world. Death, for instance, is an enemy that Jesus himself cried over (then conquered and transformed).
There are other kinds of pain I think God allows into our lives because his ultimate goal is for healing.
If Dr. Alex Loyd is correct in his book, The Healing Code, then many of the things that are painful to us are painful because they are connected to unhealed memories. The same incident that bothers you may not be painful to other people in the same situation.
Take getting stuck in traffic, for instance. One person may take the delay as an opportunity to relax and listen to music, or to pray. Another might go into road rage. It may trigger subconscious memories of being blocked or thwarted in a goal, or a time when something disastrous happened because of being late for an important meeting. The road rage is really aimed at an accumulation of times when being late caused pain of some sort.
Anais Nin said, “We see things, not as they are, but as we are.” Our perception of a situation is based largely on the experiences we’ve already had, especially the things that are unhealed i n us that the incident triggers.
This is where the gift comes in. The current situation, which God allows, bothers us mostly because it’s attached to unhealed memories and issues. If we allow God to reveal what those issues are, and to heal them, then the “triggering problem” was actually a blessing, a gift, though it certainly may not have felt like it.
This concept has been life-changing for me. Always before, truth be told, when something bothered me I dealt with it as best I could, then moved on. I did not realize God allowed it into my life for healing. I did not seek healing.
Now, I always ask first, “What is it that bothers me about this?” I identify the feeling. Then I ask, “When have I felt that way before? What lies have I been believing?” As the memories come up, I bring them into the Light of God’s truth and love. I pray for healing and counter the lies with truth.
And healing does come. It really does.
Recently, for instance, something happened that caused a huge emotional trauma for me. I’m still sorting out what actually happened (which I may never know fully), but the incident triggered many memories of past perceived rejections. You know what, though? In less than a week of using this process, along with The Healing Codes, those memories are healed. The issue is manageable. Even the physical symptoms that I experienced in one day of illness dissipated.
So I am thankful for the traumatic situation. God allowed it so that all these other unhealed memories could be healed.
What difficult things are you dealing with this Thanksgiving? Can you, in faith, thank God for allowing them into your life and seek his healing? I know people are dealing with very tough stuff. I’m praying for people who have lost loved ones, are facing the prospect of losing a loved one. People dealing with terrible illness, financial crises, emotional traumas.
Yet I truly believe that God is merciful and powerful, and can turn anything into blessing as we trust him. I heard Tony Evans today talk about Hebrews 12, and how when God shakes things up, it’s to disconnect us from what is seen, the earthly, so we can see what it unseen, the spiritual things that God is wanting to show us. The healing he wants to bring us always starts with the spiritual, with the heart issues. Dr. Tony Evans and Dr. Alex Loyd have both convinced me: “everything that exists in the physical realm has its roots in the spiritual.”
That’s what God wants to heal, first and foremost. We have to listen to the message in our pain, for it will lead us to wholeness if we bring it into the light. As we let the Light in, it will destroy what is not good (as a laser would) and gently bring to life what will produce fruit, as sunlight on a seedling.
This Thanksgiving, I hope and pray it will be the beginning of true healing, especially as you thank God for the things that don’t look like blessings. Just make sure you go deeper, and let God do his full, intended healing on the underlying memories with their pain and wrong beliefs. (And i you want a little help from me on the process, you can find it here.)