A Joyful Plea
Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits…who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagles. –Psalm 103:2, 4-5
Keep God’s blessings at the front of your mind. Remember as many of them as you can, though you can no more realize each one than catch every snowflake that falls. He just keeps them coming, particularly when we look to Him for them.
Read over the verses above and think about how God does it in your life. Soon you’ll feel refreshed and renewed, like that eagle—ready to soar through the day on the wings of God’s goodness.
As a timid teen, Barbara Ann Kipfer began keeping a running list of her favorite things. She found that it cheered her up when she was blue—just writing down little things here and there that she really appreciated: a pancake breakfast, a spring rain, playing with a kitten.
Barbara was shocked to find out that her list was like a bottomless well. It kept getting deeper and deeper. She’d had no idea how many things in the world she actually liked. Finding her seat on a bus, she would pull out a spiral notebook and jot down a freshly identified blessing. At breakfast, she would think of another one. In the middle of the night, you might find her turning on the light and reaching for her pen.
Into Barbara Ann’s adulthood, her notebooks were taking up a lot of room. After twenty years of blessing-counting, Barbara published a book that was simply her list of 14,000 Things to Be Happy About.
Martin Luther observed that if God blessed us less frequently, we would notice it more; since He does so freely and abundantly, we tend to stop even noticing. If George Muller set the benchmark for asking, Barbara Ann Kipfer set it for acknowledging.
Count your blessings; name them one by one. Would you be surprised to hear that people of faith have better health and longer life when they do precisely that? Research has established that fact.
The truth is that we are all blessed daily, and in so many ways, just by being alive. Jabez, however, asked God to bless him indeed. He was bold enough to say, “Thank you, Lord, for your many benefits—now hit me with your best shot!”
It’s not greed; it’s not ingratitude. It’s a joyful plea from a child to parent for the thing that gives both of them so much joy.
This is your day to count every blessing, to be thankful—and to anticipate those specially wrapped gifts that He has for you.