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Thu, Nov. 21

Adversity reminds us of the value and fragility of life

But he said unto her (Job to his complaining wife) ... Thou speak as one of the foolish women speaks. What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this, Job did not sin with his lips. (Job 2:10)

Nine-year-old Emily grew up just a little more that day, the day of the accident.

"Mommy! Mommy! What happened?" she cried, once the car stopped spinning and flipping onto one side, then the other, slapping Emily's little head onto the ground through the open window.

Only the night before Emily had shaken with fright when thunder and lightning crashed and danced around and around the house. We, therefore, had asked God to sprinkle angel dust all over Emily and to keep her in His care. Surely He answered with an unequivocal miracle, because the very next morning found Emily and Mommy walking away from a total car wreck with only minor injuries.

I noticed a little more responsibility in Emily's care of the dogs that afternoon, and she seemed a little more loving toward her family. As she bounded out to play, Emily said of her big brother, "When Patrick comes home, tell him I love him." She turned to me and blew a kiss so sweet that her little being burrowed even deeper into my heart.

"Father, thank you for our miracle, and please forgive how we take for granted the blessedness of life," said Mommy at dinner-time grace. Emily and Patrick watched their mom walk through the challenging days ahead in peace and perseverance - days fraught with physical soreness, long work hours, insurance negotiations and car hunting, while each new dawn rendered freshness in their awe of the miracle. Even 14-year-old Patrick seemed a bit more loving toward his mom and little sister, having recognized how close he came to the possibility of losing them.

Through adversity, this little family was reminded of the value and the fragility of human life, and the priorities that we often struggle to keep in their places became perfectly ordered that day, and as yet, through unnumbered days that have followed.

What, if anything, have I taken for granted as of late? What might it take to gain a realistic and well-ordered perception of the value of my life and the lives of others? Do I thank God for breath, sight, hearing, limbs, hands, feet, love, and laughter? Why not?

Lord, today I choose to make a very long gratitude list, especially while facing adversity.

Adapted from "Finding the Flowers in a Prickly World," by Dianne Finnegan Wilson, Illustrated by Kathleen DeGraff.

You may email Dianne Wilson by visiting

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