by Marilynn Chadwick It’s hard to be thankful for something you think you deserve. The world is full of people who believe their parents, their schools, or society owe them something. Such was not the case with my friend Becky. She was born with a birth defect that left her just under 4 feet tall. But I forgot about her disability the minute I met her. Becky’s face was beautiful—but it was her regal grace, her cheerfulness, and her thankful spirit that I most remember. I have only a dim recollection of her hunched back and deformed legs. Becky’s inner strength and trust in the Lord left me wanting to know her secret. I was in my early twenties and a young bride when we first met. Becky was married and well into her forties. She had a thorough knowledge of Scripture and was one of the best Bible teachers I have ever known. As I got to know her better, I learned that Becky’s joyful spirit was at least partially due to how her wise parents had raised their disabled daughter. “If my mother and father noticed I didn’t seem grateful, or if my attitude became selfish, they’d tell me that I must have too many blessings,” she said with a chuckle. “So they’d cut back on gifts and privileges for a while until I showed a little more gratitude for what I had.” Becky’s words have remained with me all these years later—I can almost hear her gently warning me not to take the blessings of this life for granted. I sometimes wonder if God is anything like Becky’s wise and loving parents who refused to encourage self-pity in their disabled daughter? Let’s remind ourselves of this powerful encouragement to remain thankful, straight from God’s Word. No matter what difficult trials we may be going through, giving thanks honors God and puts us more in touch with His presence. “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV).
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