Thought for the week, 7 May 2017

by Cheryl Hall

A colleague recently shared the story of a young woman from Birmingham called Assya Shabir, born with a debilitating condition called 'Epidermolysis Bullosa' in which any contact with the skin causes it to form into painful blisters, bleed and break. This painful and potentially life threatening disease has no known cure, however, Assya has managed to remain overwhelmingly positive in spite of her condition and, perhaps surprisingly, describes herself as "blessed".

This unusually uplifting story made me think of today's gospel reading, in particular, Jesus' comment to Thomas following his ascension, "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet still believe."

How many times have we, with relatively little to complain about, forgotten the multitude of blessings that we are surrounded by on a daily basis? How often have we looked at a cup and considered it half empty, without appreciating the abundant fullness within?

Assya Shabir has, perhaps, every reason to doubt God's grace and mercy. Her daily reality is fraught with pain and discomfort, but she still considers herself blessed and acknowledges all that she has to be thankful for.

Can we, like Assya, learn to weave a thread of thankfulness through all of our daily experiences which acknowledges God as the originator of everything? Can we learn to accept all of our circumstances and have the faith to trust that He will sustain us, or will our daily reality convince us otherwise? The choice is ours.