The Lord has given, and the Lord has taken away! May the name of the Lord be praised. [Job 1:21b (GW)]

tiger swallowtail butterflyAfter struggling with the writing of a devotion, it was finally finished. Thankful, I listed its completion in my gratitude journal that night. The next morning, I discovered it was lost—vanished into thin air and nowhere to be found (and believe me, I tried)! Looking back, I probably cut the devotion from my “Work On” file but got distracted and never pasted it into my “To Post” file. Unfortunately, by the time I discovered my error, both files had been saved in versions without the words over which I’d labored so long. When it became clear that those paragraphs truly had vanished into the black hole of my computer, I was annoyed with myself and upset, upset enough to want that thanks entry crossed out in my gratitude journal!

“Hold it!” said that inner voice. “Do the troubles of today negate the joys of yesterday? Just because you no longer have something, is that reason to stop being thankful for once having it? Remember, thanking Him for everything means for both gain and loss!” Oops. Sometimes, God teaches me lessons the hard way!

We all make mistakes and sometimes those mistakes cause us to lose far more than several hours and a few paragraphs—we can lose friendships, marriages, custody, jobs, health or houses. Sometimes, errors can be repaired and lost things recovered but not everything can be mended or retrieved. Nevertheless, we must never stop being thankful for what once was, no matter how briefly we held it. It’s not God’s fault when we mismanage His blessings. That we can learn from our mistakes is more reason for gratitude!

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for all that has happened in our lives—the good, the bad and everything in between. Some events were welcomed as beautiful gifts and others were less appreciated as lessons, but we were blessed by them all.

I’m most proud of the blessings that God has bestowed upon me, in my life. He’s given me the vision to truly see that you can fall down, but you can still get back up. Hopefully I’ll learn from my mistakes and have the opportunity to strengthen and improve the next thing I do. [Martin Lawrence]

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Whatever happens, give thanks, because it is God’s will in Christ Jesus that you do this. [1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (GW)]

We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God—those whom he has called according to his plan. [Romans 8:28 (GW)]

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