When is the last time that you sat down and counted your blessings? This is something I have started getting in the habit of trying to do everyday. It is one of the first things I do when I get up and one of the last before I go to sleep. For me this is a time of peace and reflection upon how much God has poured out His grace on me. It is also a time that I realized how much more I need Him. There one time that I was literally able to count my blessings for five hours on a trip to Minnesota, that’s a lot of blessings, but it made me realize how much we take God for granted. I had been mediating on and contemplating God’s word in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 which says, “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” What I came to realize is that even when we get short sighted in our vision and struggle to see how blessed we are, we are still completely surrounded by God’s grace and provision.
As I was praying this morning I felt like the following words were spoken to me and I wanted to share them with you.
I have blessed you in many ways. From sun up until sun down I shine my glory down upon you, yet you do not listen. How long will it be before you see that everything that is good has come from me. You toil and labor throughout the day, but to what end? Do you do it for me or do you do it to fulfill yourself? What is it that you think you will gain in life on your own? The birds do not worry about where they will get their food, the grass grows, withers, and dies and yet it still returns. If I have done all this and I call you sons and daughters then what greater blessing will you receive. Follow me my children, I will give you rest, I will set a lamp upon your feet to guide your path. Times will get hard, but know that I with you always even to the very end of times. Pick up your rod and follow me, you are my warrior, stand up and fight. Remember to count your blessings everyday and know that I am God who gives freely to all who follow me.
In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount He paints a picture of what our lives being filled with blessings might look like and it is quite contrary to what the world tells us our lives should look like if we are blessed. His words are sobering and many are difficult, but I also know them to be true. It has been in the times where my life has aligned with His words that I have truly felt and been blessed. I also know the reverse to be true in the times in my life that I have not been aligned with Jesus.
Life can be tough at times and it can be difficult for us to count our blessings when we do not feel as though we have any blessings to count, but if you look hard enough and deep enough you will find them there. I know a man, who has now gone to be with the Lord, who when he was asked how he was doing would always reply “I am blessed.” These were not just words for him, they were a way of life. He knew how to count his blessings even though his body was riddled with bone cancer and the pain was severe. He knew that God had used him and was still using him despite the way he felt physically. It is because of that man that I am walking with Jesus today. He inspired so many people simply by acknowledging to them that he was blessed.
What impact is your life having on those around you? Are you bringing life when you walk into a room or are you bringing death? Have you counted your blessings lately, if not just try it and see if it doesn’t lift you up. Our Father loves us and pours out His blessings on us daily, we just need to stop and recognize how great He truly is.