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“I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me,” Philippians 4:12-13

Gratitude is a funny thing.  You never know when it will strike you.  Or when you will find yourself in need of it.  I now, for example, feel gratitude every time someone holds the door open for me, lets me cut in near the beginning of a long food line or carries something to heavy or awkward for me.
It wasn’t always that way.  Before 2013, I had a strong, able body.  I didn’t need help with such things.  But, as they say, that all changed in the twinkling of an eye.  A health condition left me without the use of my right arm, difficulty walking and slurred speech.  Overnight, I went from an assistance giver to someone who needs assistance.
I don’t ask for assistance.  I still can do tasks for myself, but it takes longer or special equipment.
I’ve found that about 90 percent of people help without being asked.  The remaining folks seem too absorbed in their own lives.  They might rush through a door without giving you a glance,  make sure not to make eye contact, or sprint to the last shopping cart ahead of you.
Especially helpful, are those who ask if you want help before offering it.  Such as, “May I help you with the door?”  It’s an important courtesy.  I remember being proud of how I was walking–though slowly–and wanting the exercise of walking through one of the Wal-Mart.  A lady about 40, without asking, brought me an electric cart to ride in.  I didn’t want to hurt her feelings, so I rode in it.
But I’ve learned to be content in my condition.  Barring a miracle–and I’m not ruling that out–these deficits are permanent.  Still, I have all that I need to live as normal a life as possible with the gratitude of others, and through Him that strengthens me.


Edward Wills is a Christian writer and blogger.  He lives in Holly Ridge, NC.
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