Saturday, November 16, 2013

Why Count Your Blessings?

“Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.”

“Count Your Blessings” was one of the many hymns Mom would sing to me when I was feeling down. It’s upbeat melody and encouraging words coaxed me to join her. And in no time, I felt better.

We should always offer thanks to God and remember His goodness, but it seems even more important when life is difficult. Focusing on God takes our minds off our pain, sadness and discouragement and lifts our spirits. Turning our thoughts to God’s blessings gives us hope and it reminds us of His faithfulness. He has provided, healed and comforted before and He will do it again. Years ago, I began praying Psalm 103:2: “Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all His benefits.” God has been so good to me and I want to remember as many of His blessings as I can. More importantly, though, I want to be like the one leper who out of the ten that Jesus healed came back and praised Him.

“When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.” –Johnson Oatman, Jr.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Matter of Perspective

“The unthankful heart... discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!”—Henry Ward Beecher

Friday morning was beautiful despite a sky blanketed in sooty gray clouds. What made it beautiful, for me, was my perspective.

My morning started with a routine visit to the doctor’s office, and while my doctor is delightful, going to see her twice a year is not at the top of my list of favorite activities. En route to see her, though, I pondered how much God has improved my health since Jan. 2012 and I began to worship Him. I sang hymns and praise songs throughout the half-hour drive and was bubbling over with joy by the time I arrived for my appointment. Thankfully, I received a good report and remarkably, in less than an hour, I was headed home.

As I drove, I glanced up at the gray sky again and behind the clouds I could see glimpses of a clear blue autumn sky and an occasional sunbeam. All the way home I smiled with gratitude for  the many blessings God had given me, not just that day, but time and time again.

Psalm 92:1-3: “It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night, to the music of the ten-stringed lyre and the melody of the harp.”