Almighty God, You show mercy to Your people in all their troubles. Grant us always to recognize Your goodness, give thanks for Your compassion, and praise your holy name; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
My friend said he remembered hearing the sirens while he was drifting in and out of consciousness. They were coming for him. He had been in a pretty serious car accident and now they would need to extract him from the crumpled remains of his car. He would recover, but it would be a long and hard road. There were surgeries, physical therapy, a persistent limp. But sitting down over a glass of beer over a year later he would tell me that this was the best thing that ever happened to him. He thanked God for that other driver who swerved in front of him and caused him to leave the road as he sought to avoid a collision.
By his own admission he was heading in a life-destroying direction that day when he had that accident. Not that traveling south on the freeway leads to death, but that his work, his family, his relationship with God, all of the things that should bring him health were out of step. He was miserable and it wasn’t getting any better. Until he was forced to slow down and consider anew everything about his life. When it was all taken away, even for a little while, he came to see everything differently.
We ask God that he would grant us to recognize His goodness. That can sometimes be hard to do, especially when tough things are happening to us. If you are in the middle of a difficult day when you read this, I don’t expect you to be thanking God for your misery. You may never come to that point like my friend did. Sometimes it works that way, but other times it does not. It may be that only from heaven’s perspective will we be able to see that. But I am convinced that He who dries every tear will eventually bring us to see and recognized His goodness everywhere.