An old hymn comes to mind, with Thanksgiving drawing near, called “Count Your Blessings”. It’s such a simple song with a powerful message of counting each blessing to see what God has done in our lives. There’s a book with the same theme called 1000 Blessings by Ann Voskamp which I have not read but plan to get a copy of soon. Friends who have read it make lists of the blessings God has bestowed on their lives. Taking the time to sit down and write out the blessings in our lives makes them become more concrete and gives us something to hold on to during the trials.
Sometimes it is difficult to see the blessings through all the chaos of life. When my dad was receiving treatment for cancer, it became challenging to find blessings each day, but even on the darkest days God would reveal blessings that I normally take for granted. The phone call of a caring friend, cards from praying Christians, vending machines with much-needed caffeine, and families of other patients to share the struggle.
I’ve gone to bed the last few nights with a heavy heart and questioning what the future holds. After much difficulty falling asleep last night, I awoke at 4AM feeling rested and counting my blessings. Today I am thankful for:
Restful nights, even if they are short 🙂
Evenings when my son comes home, hangs out, and sleeps on the couch
Movie dates and shopping trips full of fun with my daughter
A marriage that withstands the waves of life and a husband who truly loves me
A mother who is always there for me and even offers to make my bed when I’m not feeling well
Friends who take the time to pray with me no matter where we are
Mended relationships and healing hearts
Renewed strength when life gets me down
Matthew 5:3-10 (NIV)
3Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus reminds us here that our focus should not be on the situation but rather how God is working even in our pain and confusion. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.
Accept the challenge to give thanks in everything and focus not on the circumstances but on the many blessings He bestows.
How has He blessed you today?