Gratitude vs. Anger

I recently watched a video series that one of my former pastors produced. Dr. Ed Dobson, Pastor emeritus of Calvary Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was diagnosed with ALS several years ago and made a 7 -10 minute videos about suffering with ALS and its diagnosis. In the sixth video, Dr. Dobson makes a statement that with a diagnosis that is a chronic illness diagnosis, people are usually full of gratitude or angry.

I have chewed on this thought all week. Throughout the journey of trying to figure out how to make Shelby’s stomach work again, I have not been angry. We have met many parents that are frustrated, as I am at times, but very few that are angry. At the same time, I have not met many that are full of gratitude. But I am.

Many, through this journey, I have noted how positive our family has been. This week, we had more difficult news come our way. Paul has injured his back somehow, and we meet with the neurosurgeon in the morning. Summing it up, the school year alone, we have endured a house fire, a broken hand, an emergency hysterectomy, a broken toe, and now a broken back – as well as Shelby’s battle of the unknown attack by her nervous system and a non-working gut. One of these is a big deal. Together, it’s one wild ride! 

So why the positivity? Why do I have gratitude? Dr. Dobson reminded me that the epistles say, “In all things give thanks.” The Bible does not say “For all things give thanks.” Therefore, in every situation, IN ALL THINGS, I will have gratitude. I may not be thankful for every situation but I can be thankful in every situation. 

Chew on that as you pray for us. 


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