COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS (A guest post by Michelle Meade)

 

prayer

*Today’s post is by Michelle Meade, our editor and occasional contributor.

Remember the old hymn, Count Your Blessings? The chorus sings:

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.

The verses each call the singer to count his blessings amid life’s storms, burdens, and conflicts.

As I sang this song many times growing up in church, I thought it was shallow and childish. “Sure, count my blessings. Like that’s going to fix my anxieties or make my burdens easier to bear.” I scoffed at the thought, even though it was a nice one.

We all think that way, don’t we? Not only do we scoff at being thankful under the weight of burdens, but we trudge, thankless, through the mundane as well. Why is it so difficult to be thankful?

True thankfulness is not less than counting our blessings, but it is so much more than that. Karin Brown, my former college professor and author of her own blog, coined (and copyrighted) the term “Th(i)nkful” (also her blog’s title – check it out!). To be th(i)nkful is to actively think thanks. Here is Karin’s own definition:

th(i)nkful – a determined choice to download grace/strength from the Lord to think thanks about every circumstance that comes my way and express that thanks orally or in a written form.

Being th(i)nkful manifests itself in making an oral or written list. Why not just a mental list? Thankfulness certainly starts in the mind. But if you’re like me, limiting exercises like this to my mind is not effective. I am woefully distracted. However, if you and I commit to verbalizing or writing lists of what we’re thankful for, we will see a significant shift of mind and focus.

Thankfulness is our worship during heartbreak. It is our outpouring of love to the Father during seasons of blessing. It is our joy in the mundane.

Thankfulness is our obedience to God, for He commands us (through Paul) in Scripture:

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17 (emphasis added)

Giving thanks – thinking thanks – is how we fulfill our calling to glorify God in all we do. Will you commit with me, today, to list at least five things per day for which you are thankful? Here is mine:

  1. A steady job that provides for my needs.
  2. Today’s rain, providing nourishment and life to the earth.
  3. God’s Word, which is pure and true.
  4. My personal “library” (I love books!).
  5. The ability to see the faces of those I love.

One could say I just counted my blessings. Now go count yours!

2 thoughts on “COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS (A guest post by Michelle Meade)

  1. Michelle, thank you for your thoughtful words. I am so thankful that you are able to express your heart and mind so well. A wonderful gift for all who listen and understand. We are so Thankful for you.

  2. My 5 Things:
    1. Psalm 124:8 My help is in the name of the Lord.
    2. My husband took me out for ice cream at Bruster’s last night when I felt so weary.
    3. Ripe tomatoes.
    4. Our Jonny and Elly made it safely to Brazil.
    5. Siyabonga is Zulu for thank you.

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