When you’re going through a storm, there is very little that feels good, much less anything that feels like a blessing. When I first started getting a handle on what it meant to do the work of recovery after my strokes, I don’t think gratitude was my first thought. Anger, uncertainty, and “why me?” were more of the thoughts that ran through my mind.
Looking at the events of my strokes though, now that the storms have passed, I can truthfully tell you that I am grateful. There is no doubt in my mind that I am a changed man and God has caused me to draw much closer to Him. After all, He cleaned up my old landscape and helped me see that there was more that I could do with my life. He set a new course for me as He filled my heart with the winds of His Spirit. He’s the only One who knew all along what I could be, and it was getting me through the storm and to the other side that made all the difference.
The storm of my strokes, the desperation that initially followed, then the calm that finally won out, as I learned to walk and talk again, helped me discover new things and one of those was what it meant to be a giver. Giving doesn’t have a lot to do with how many dollar bills you throw in the collection plate at church. Giving is about what you do with your heart. One of the blessings of my stroke experience, my Stroke of Faith as I’ve come to call it, is that my wife and I learned to give from the deeper well of love and caring God had placed in our hearts for others. Storms have a way of cleansing our thoughts and inspiring our actions in new ways.
I pray for you that you will find the blessing that comes from any storm in your life. You can be sure God sees you and is near you every step of the way.
Lord God All-Powerful, who is like you?
Lord, you are powerful and completely trustworthy.
You rule the mighty sea
and calm the stormy waves.
Psalm 89:8-9, NCV