This much loved picture hangs on our family room wall. The original family picture was taken four years ago during a very rare time that all of our family came home. Since that happy day we have added 10 more babies and a dear grandson-in-law to our family tree. Rich blessings have been poured upon our family and I am very thankful to God for His generosity to us.

The past couple of weeks I have been thinking about another side of thankfulness to God that perhaps we seldom recognize; the blessing of difficulties. “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) What does “all” include? Think about Spurgeon’s comments on this verse. “We are to give thanks for the dark things, the cutting things, the things which plague and vex us and disquiet our spirits—for these are among the "all things" for which we ought to praise and bless God. Doubtless, if our eyes were opened, like those of Elijah's servant, we should see our trials to be among our choicest treasures! If we exercise the farseeing eyes of faith and not the dim eyes of sense, we shall discover that nothing can be more fatal to us than to be without affliction and that nothing is more beneficial to us than to be tried as with fire. Therefore we will glory in tribulations! We will bless and magnify the name of the Lord that He leads us through the wilderness that He may prove us and that He may fit us for dwelling by-and-by in the Promised Land. ‘Giving thanks always for all things.’”

May we each have a Happy Thanksgiving as we remember the bountiful and the difficult times God has used to bless us.