The other morning I took my dog on our routine early morning walk. This is a time that I have come to thoroughly enjoy as I am blessed by the beauty and majesty of the sunrise and the quiet time I have with the Lord to start the day.
However, I have to admit on this morning, I was grumbling and complaining to the Lord concerning how hard and exhausting ministry life had been lately. I had been pushing hard for so long dealing with the constant issues and stresses of running a large church and the gut wrenching and heartbreaking pain and struggles of people’s lives. I was physically and emotionally spent and completely worn out. I was crying out to the Lord to pour out His peace upon me and give me some relief by His grace.
As I grumbled about how tired and overwhelmed I was, the Holy Spirit calmed my anxious heart and radically changed my focus. Instead of letting the problems and stresses in my life derail me, He reminded me of the song, “Count Your Blessings.” The refrain of that classic song stuck in my head:
“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.”
As I started singing this song in my head, I began to turn my complaining into rejoicing over the many blessings He has extended to me. For the next 20 minutes of my walk, I started naming the blessings – one by one – that God had graciously poured out over my life. When I got home from the walk, I recorded this experience with the Lord in my journal and referenced the following three verses.
Psalm 40:5 - “Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.” (Count your blessings name them one by one)
Psalm 103:2-5 – “Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits. He forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases. He redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion. He satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (See what God has done)
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – “Be joyful always. Pray continually. Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (be joyful no matter what the circumstances are in your life – pray continually – always have a grateful and thankful heart because of what Jesus has done for us)
While the circumstances of my life didn’t change, my attitude and perspective completely shifted. When I started “counting my blessings” instead of grumbling and complaining about the pressures and stresses of my life, my heart was filled with thankfulness and a peace beyond understanding. As I focused on the Lord, who He is and all He has done, my heart overflowed with praise and gratitude.
When was the last time you took time to “count your blessings”?