Dec 13 2012

at the EDGE: Counting that counts

Original post at http://revarant.com/2012/12/13/counting-that-counts/

mason jar

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It has been a long year.  In fact it has been several long years of one thing after another.  Each time we over came one crisis or problem another seems to appear.

This past week was no different.  In the midst of what should be a joyful time planning family reunions, celebrations with friends and family time…I found myself overwhelmed.  This week an aunt was hospitalized, our home flooded again, one child caught the flu, one was injured needing surgery, and one’s much anticipated return home was delayed by the weather.  All this on top of the usual holiday clamor and chaos.

Sitting in one of many medical waiting rooms this week I just about reached the point I wanted to boycott the remainder of the holidays. I sat there thumbing through Facebook on my phone, when I saw a shared post about filling a mason jar with notes about good things that happen during the year, and reading all the notes during the holidays as a way of remembering how blessed you really are.  It began to remind me of the chorus in the old song “Count Your Blessing.”  In just a few moments the lyrics began filling my heart and I found my self singing…

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.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Singing, I realized I had forgotten the second verse.  As I went looking for it, I found myself reflecting over the blessings of this past year. Starting in January.  With no effort all these forgotten blessing came rushing back to mind.  About the time I reached March’s blessings, I was slapped in the face by verse two…

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.

Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  There are times when it is easy to be thankful, and then there are the the times when it seems unnatural to give thanks in “everything”. Life is filled with painful and devastating things that are hard to face. Yet Paul’s words remind us that God is with us, and has promised to never leave us. When we really count our blessings, not stopping at the usual things for which we are accustomed to giving thanks, the good really does out weigh the bad. I realized that about the time I found verse three…

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings. Wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

As sat there counting my blessings my heart felt lighter and the tightness in my chest disappeared.  Even my sorrows reminded me that I was alive and surrounded by those I needed and who needed me. Not being an outwardly expressive person, my own tears surprised me and I sang the last verse…

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

I went directly to the store to looking for a mason jar not wanting to wait until January to start writing my blessings down.  I came home with a case of extra large jars.  I want to make sure to have enough to hold all my blessings for the coming year.  The song is right…

Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

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