How many different iris varieties do I grow? How many roses are in my garden? Are my daffodil blooms in the thousands by now? I don’t know.
Yet we are told to “count our blessings.” Yes, it’s highly beneficial to dwell on the good things God has given us, while we plod along in a sometimes weary world of work and worry.
We must not let that saying become too literal. We don’t really know, nor can we know, how many blessings God showers upon us. When I survey the waves of blue and purple made by the Bachelor’s Buttons as they cover the emerging plants with their billowing button-like blooms, I really couldn’t count them, any more than I could count the stars in the heavens.
They are certainly a visual blessing, dead blooms and all. There will be some early flowers that will be spent and dry by the time the two-foot airy balls of floriferous splendor cover the gardens, but do I count the ones that are slightly dry but still have color? Well, I don’t look that closely. And who’s counting, anyway?
It is obvious to the garden visitor that there is an explosion of color before most gardeners have had a chance to put in some annuals to brighten up the beds. Overall, the effect is astounding.
In other seasons, zinnias or verbena can be “counted on” to burst forth into countless blooms. I may not appreciate each individual flower, but the mass effect can take my breath away.
We thank the good Lord for his gifts in general. Sometimes, we even thank him for specific blessings.
Am I thankful that the traffic is congested in the morning on my way to work? Do I count that as a blessing? Maybe I should. What if that delay kept me from slipping on a wet floor before the maintenance people could clean it up? We are not often thankful as we pay bills, but those bills represent good things that we enjoy, and the income that we use to pay for them.
“Shall we accept good from God, and not accept adversity?” Job 2:10b, NASB).
Job had it right in these words to his wife, even though he had no idea that God planned to bless him through his troubles
We can never be fully aware of what our blessings are, much less count them! Then there are the blessings that are not material.
All too often when we take stock of our blessings, it goes something like this: Food, shelter, transportation, health, happy times. We might miss some of the most important blessings: knowledge of God, the tough times that molded us into empathetic people, or circumstances that have brought us to Christ, for example.
What about the privilege of praying to the Almighty Creator in the first place, not only to thank him for the blessings he has given, and that we have the honor of speaking to One who can create worlds with a word!
God does answer each prayer. When we don’t get the answer we want, we might neglect to thank him.
We can try to count our blessings, but we can never finish.