One of the things that I’ve done to help in the recovery process is to list all the things I am grateful for – to find the good rather than focus on the trauma; to live in victory rather than live as a victim. Here’s the list I wrote:
I am grateful that this happened to me, rather than to Christie – or one of our children.
I am grateful that it happened at home – rather than in another country.
I am grateful for Christie’s quick thinking in getting me into a cold shower – this stopped the burns from being even worse!
I am grateful for our eldest daughter, Gigi, for staying with me straight after the accident, and being so strong and caring.
I am grateful for being able to get straight into The Alfred hospital where treatment for burns is second to none.
I am grateful that the emergency department at The Alfred was unusually quiet that night so I could get the treatment and attention I needed.
I am grateful for the advances in medicine made possible by the dedication and sacrifice of researchers and doctors exemplified in the medical staff at The Alfred. And for the care and compassion of those nurses that see their role as a vocation and truly do an amazing job!
I am grateful for all the cards, SMSs, emails and Facebook messages from God’s people around the world.
I am particularly grateful for all the prayer, especially the prayer meeting at Bayside Church when about 200 people gathered together.
I am grateful for the prayers of God’s people around Australia and around the world – people from the USA, UK and Ireland, Germany, South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique, Italy, Malaysia, Uganda, Japan … and many other nations told me they were praying for me.
I am grateful for God’s presence even in the midst of pain, anxiety and trauma. To know the peace of God that passes our understanding.
I am grateful that I didn’t need any skin grafts (this is extremely unusual for burns sustained from a hot water bottle).
I am grateful that my heavenly Father – who knitted me together in my mother’s womb – didn’t throw away his knitting needles! He’s doing a wonderful job of healing and restoration.
I am grateful for the amazing meals ministry at Bayside Church. A big thanks to everyone who has blessed us with delicious food – and also for all the chocolate, much of which has been eaten!
I am grateful for all the other very practical help that we have received from so many people.
I am grateful to my amazing wife Christie for her loving care to me, our children and to the people of Bayside Church.
I am grateful for the incredible board, pastoral team, staff, leaders and congregation of Bayside Church. Your love and care have been overwhelming. The way this church has risen up in unity is inspirational. Nothing can stop the growth of God’s kingdom!
I am grateful for the conversations I’ve been able to have with others about having faith in God.
I am grateful to be able to warn others about the dangers of hot water bottles. I pray that my warning will prevent others from being burned – or worse!
I am grateful to Ps Phil Pringle, for his prayers, friendship, care and ministry. For Ps Gordon Moore who flew down from Brisbane to see me – and for the whole C3 Church movement. It’s so good to belong to a supportive and caring worldwide family of believers.
I am grateful for other ministry friends and colleagues – too numerous to mention – for their support, prayers, love and encouragement through this time.
I am grateful “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” That “the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”
Developing an attitude of gratitude has been a therapeutic exercise for me and has brought great encouragement to others. The Bible instructs us to “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” You don’t need to wait for an accident to learn thankfulness. Why not plan to take some time out this week, find a quiet place and write down all the things you’re grateful for? It’ll bless you – and those around you.