And, I think that is a good thing. I just am not very good about saying, "Well, Lord, thank you so much for the beautiful sunrise, my wonderful boss, my particularly kind pastor, my wonderfully messy family, my life-long friends, my new friends who feel like I've known them from forever, my capacity to pay my expenses, my need to stay consistent in my healthy eating and exercise choices, my shelter, my transportation, my challenges in adjusting to a changing world (is it a sin to swear at a computer?)"
So I accept that things will rarely, OK almost never, go "my way" when I am on the right track because the right track is the growing in grace track and that is never unmitigated jam. But I am able to rest in the constancy and power and love of God, even when I don't see the "why" or "how can this ever get better" perspective on the challenges that I and the people I love most dearly are facing.
When the most beloved people in my life are struggling, I too quickly forget that they have the right to grow too! And most always we grow because we are experiencing pain.
I had a grandmother who was a perfect kick in the keester and it was really too sad because she did try to be a faithful follower of Christ, but she clung to some ideas about Christianity that left her painted in a corner where there was so little room to change. Then her only surviving son and her husband died within 5 months of each other. The pain drove her out of the corner at least a bit and, being in wholly uncharted territory (having married between her junior and senior year of high school, she had rarely in 84 and 1/2 years lived alone or without one of her children living nearby) and she did change. She could still try the patience of a saint, but she made some progress in being kinder, and ironically, less afraid. The pain was very great; I hope she found a full measure of comfort. And I'm really quite sure my beloved aunt has a whole chest of gold stars waiting for her in heaven in addition to all the grace she experienced through those years.
So I shall try to pay better attention to the challenges I encounter so I can extract every bit of grace contained therein.