Years ago I heard my pastor preach a sermon in which he challenged us to be thankful in all circumstances no matter where we find ourselves. I do believe that no matter where we find ourselves in life we can find something to be thankful for. But then like all good pastors do, he took the challenge a step past what I was comfortable with. He challenged us to be thankful for the circumstances.
Again we can and should always find something to be thankful for in any and every season. It's a whole other level to be thankful for the tough thing that we find ourself in and walking through. As my pastor shared that challenge, I happened to be walking through a tough season and in that moment I was not thankful for the season.
As time progressed and the season cleared I could still hear the challenge ringing in my ears and I began to accept and understand what my pastor was saying. I began to recognize the fruit and things that were produced in my life because of the season and circumstances that I walked through. And I began to be grateful for the circumstances because of what it produced in my life. Do I want to walk through that season again? No thanks. But am I grateful for it because of the things it yielded in my life and relationship with God? Absolutely!
I believe that everything we go through will shape us in life. But I also believe that it is up to us as to how we let it shape us. We can go through tough times and let it make us bitter and resentful. Or we can go through tough times and learn everything we can and use the season to make us better. After all, April showers do bring May flowers.