Count Your Blessings

Published 11:19 am Monday, November 21, 2022

        In the day-to-day grind, there are, at any given moment, challenges, difficulties and problems that need confronting. Life has its share of obstacles to traverse, issues that must be dealt with, and pressing matters that need attention. This is the ebb and flow of life, always has been and always will be. 

       At times we get fixated on these situations because it seems we are bombarded with them. Being focused deeply upon such matters is often unintentional. These situations surround us and it seems that we cannot escape their enormity. 

        Now, we find ourselves on the brink of Thanksgiving and we are reminded to have an attitude of gratitude. Being appreciative in the midst of difficult situations is not always easy because our hearts are heavy from the weight of the world and fighting the fight. However, such a reality does not negate the importance of learning to express our thanks. Re-engaging in this action is vital to life.

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       The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “…in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Giving thanks should be a normal occurrence in our lives. Many times, as a minister, I hear individuals say, “I just want to know God’s will for my life.” Well, here is at least one direct thing that you can know for sure is God’s will for you. In everything, give thanks! 

        I realize that is not easy in the midst of difficulties but it truly is a commandment from God and is expected in the life of the believer. One way we can prime the well of thanksgiving is by counting our blessings. Sure, there are a lot of negative, troubling things in the world that are concerning but at the same time, there are a lot of positive, wholesome, good aspects of life and this world. We should not allow one to overshadow or drown out the other. Counting our blessings is a great way to change our perspective and attitude. 

       There are times in life when finding blessings may be easier than others. So how do you begin? Start with the small things first. Some days, the blessings you count may be that you woke up and are able to see. It could be that you are able to walk or that you have a warm blanket in this cold weather. You may start small by thanking God for the blessing of being able to go to the grocery store and buy coffee to drink as you look out on the winter morning. 

       Once you begin counting those blessings, you will think of others. You have a car to drive. You just ate a meal when there are many who are hungry. As you begin, the remembrance of blessings will continue to come to you. Funny thing, an attitude of gratitude breeds more gratitude while an attitude of negativity makes more of the same. Gratitude is contagious and counting your blessings is the initiator that helps you begin. 

       Over the course of the year, Michelle and I write blessings and things we are thankful for on slips of paper and drop them in a mason jar. It might be a beautiful hike we took and the sunrise we saw. Or, perhaps a prayer that was answered that we are so very thankful for. On New Year’s Eve, we pour these slips out and recount the blessings from the year. As we read them aloud it always surprises me the things we remember that I had forgotten as the flurry of the year moved on. 

      It is a great way to rekindle thanks after Thanksgiving is solidly in our rearview mirror.  In fact, I am thinking of some things now that I have failed to document and I need to do that! So, try some method or way to count your blessings as well – not just this week of Thanksgiving, but all the year through!