Gratitude and Peace

“Gratitude and peace are the necessary ingredients of true joy.” Pamela Piquette




Don’t blink, or you will miss the glimpse of eternity at the intersection of suffering and joy. The cross’ horizontal line might represent our linear lives here on earth, where we are promised we will suffer. 1 Peter 5:10 says, “…after you have suffered a little while, [Jesus] will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.”

The vertical line points us toward heaven, eternity, and joy. Something unique happens at the intersection if I look directly at my suffering, not trying to run or hide from it. If I don’t blink, I won’t miss this gift, which is so very brief but life-altering.

This isn’t just a word picture for me but has become more and more real. At the end of 2016, my daughter-in-law had been in labor for 18 hours when they had to move her from a birthing center to a hospital. After a short time, she invited her mother and me to join her and her husband as she struggled to deliver my granddaughter.

For the next four hours, late in the evening, I stood and held my breath with each contraction. After four long hours, when it seemed she could endure no more, I witnessed birth – unmistakable beauty as the rigors of delivery intersected with the precious gift of new life.




A few days later, I stood beside a dear friend at his death bed showing him a picture of my new granddaughter. An idea was beginning to take shape. Soon his suffering would be over and he would experience the profound joy of heaven.

Just five months later, we discovered that my dad had a brain tumor, which turned out to be a particularly aggressive cancer. As he journeyed through suffering, I entered it with him and stood beside him. Often I was simply present. Toward the end of his 5 ½ month battle, my dad was moved to hospice.

That day was like no other. Dad was alert, present, and participating as much as a man who had lost his ability to speak aloud his thoughts could. Familiar phrases and simple answers were still there, but nothing more. We talked, well, I talked about how Dad had prepared each of us to go on without him. It was OK for him to go home to Jesus. We were ready and Dad was ready too.




I know Jesus is always with us, but I am so much more aware of Him at births and deaths. Perhaps this is a special gift if we don’t look away or try to avoid suffering.

Less than 50 hours after he entered hospice, Daddy was home with Jesus. We were so very sad that he was no longer with us, but so very grateful that he was no longer in pain. And that’s when it struck me. Joy isn’t a feeling of happiness, but of gratitude mixed with peace, profound and deep, Jesus’ peace, the peace that surpasses all understanding. “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)

Chronic illness is similar. What I’ve learned is that if I don’t look away as I experience pain, but look into it, accept it, and embrace it with gratitude – not the actual pain, but the One who endures it with me, I experience His deep peace.




Don’t blink at the intersection of the cross where our suffering collides with Jesus’ and you won’t miss the true joy!


Pamela Piquette

Pamela Piquette

Executive Director and Co-Founder of Chronic Joy®

Pamela, a leader and a visionary following God's call to inspire those affected by chronic illness, mental illness, and chronic pain, believes that every precious life impacted by illness is both vital and purposed.

Pamela is a wife of more than 35 years, the mom of three married children, and a grandma of six. She is diagnosed with chronic migraines and other chronic conditions. She enjoys baking sourdough bread and chocolate chip cookies, drinking hot tea, being outdoors, and reading (almost always more than one book at a time).

18 Thought-Provoking Suffering & Joy Quotes

Invite a friend or family member to do an 18-Day Suffering & Joy discussion – or use the quotes as journaling prompts. On each day, read one quote. Talk about it. Think about it. Write about it. Pray about it.

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