In this season of thanksgiving, we are encouraged to “count our blessings”. Yet, you may be struggling to recognize blessings in your life, especially if your loss of a loved one or close friend has been recent. Your pain, heartache and grief may still be overshadowing any joyful or happy things happening around you.

Maybe your pain relates to the loss of a dream, a relationship, a hope you had hidden in your heart. Any kind of loss can captivate us and cover the sun.

This morning as I read from Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling devotional book, I was struck by one portion. “To protect your thankfulness, you must remember that you reside in a fallen world, where blessings and sorrows intermingle freely. A constant focus on adversity defeats many Christians. They walk through a day that is brimming with beauty and brightness, seeing only the grayness of their thoughts.”

I experienced that recently. My focus on the absence of my brother Greig and the sorrow of separation spun me into a dark time. God saw my heavy heart and used my brother’s son Casey to lift the weight. Amazingly, then I was able to see that my brother’s absence from earth is a reason to thank God. Greig is experiencing new life in heaven with God now. Once I was willing to thank God for this truth rather then focus on my brother’s absence, I experienced joy. [See my August 21 post for more details.]

I pray that God will lift your heart today so you will be able to recognize your blessings, from life and breathe, to a hug from a child, or the caring words of a friend. Acknowledging God’s blessings won’t make the pain of loss go away. But your willingness to thank Him will soften your pain and allow you to see the beauty and brightness in your day.