Count your blessings.

“With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.  We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

Several decades ago, our men’s chorus at Christ in Lincoln, NE sang a song titled “Count your blessings” and the words were written by Johnson Oatman Jr. in 1897 and our version was arranged by Rev. Harold T. Stelzer, our director.  The words are as follows;

“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.  Are you ever burdened with a load of care?  Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?  Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly, and you will keep singing as the days go by.  Count your blessings, name them one by one, count your blessings, see what God hath done!”

Ever spend time at the end of the day, sitting down and writing out the blessings you’ve been given during your waking hours?  The two women in the attached photo are the cooks at the Lutheran school called Mammou in Port-au-Prince.  They have it pretty good; they work in an airy kitchen, have a place to sit when they need to get off their feet, casual dress code and believe me, everybody at Mammou loves these two women when it is lunch time.  They work for minimum wages, no health insurance and no paid holiday or sick leave; they are so thankful to have a job.  I love to share photos such as this with the cooks in North America; it really makes you appreciate what you have and think about what life is like in different parts of this world.  Count your blessings!  When we choose to count our blessings, we are telling God and the world that we value them. 

The number one blessing that we have is Jesus Christ.  When we count our blessings, it should begin with Him; however, it cannot stop there.  By counting every single blessing that God has placed in our life, we discover evidence of the Hand of God in more places than we originally could see.  The cooks at Mammou have a job, free lunch; they are blessed.  The children are blessed at Mammou as they have Jesus and food.  You are blessed as God has provided you with an opportunity to share His blessings through you to them. 

Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown.  Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  Amen. 

May God be with you…Jay