Most of us have heard it all of our lives, from parents, grandparents, teachers, or our religious leaders: Count Your Blessings. Even our best friends will sometimes nag us about it, making us either snarl or bite our tongues to keep from snarling. We wish we had the strength to throw them and the couch they’re sitting on right through the window!
When we’re at home alone, resentment tends to bubble to the surface of our thoughts during our most depressed, frustrated, or sad times. It’s often hard not to roll our eyes at our own feelings when we recall being told to “count your blessings.” We might be feeling so low that we mutter, “Yeah, right.”
I know I’ve felt the most ungrateful when trial has been piled upon trial. “Would You just space things out a little, Lord?! Then I could take a few deep breaths and try to plow ahead.”
In response, Heavenly Father often allows a perfect storm of unpleasant events to clobber us, usually within days of each other:
- An insurance policy turns out to be offered by a company not even licensed in our state;
- Our neighbors hold yet another drunken party that lasts most of the weekend;
- Our other neighbors hold ongoing screaming fights in their driveway in a language we can’t even begin to understand;
- Our indoor cat becomes possessed by a demon at sight of the furry kids of the drinkers;
- The storm drain backs up.
And to top it all off, as we are learning the patience the Lord wants us to learn, the big stuff hits:
- Wonderful MedCircle.com explains that the problem co-worker may well be a narcissist and will not change;
- You learn that no less than three of your dearest friends are now battling different forms of generally terminal cancer;
- You are “surprised” by an email from someone who claims he is a direct close relative of your deceased husband;
- Your own DNA test shows you are at risk for getting every illness your mother ever had;
- Why did you ever want to become a citizen of a country that’s being allowed to gurgle right down the drain?
And then you recall a shorter version of a well-known anonymous poem:
Dear Lord, forgive me when I whine.
I am blessed…and the world is mine.
With legs to take me where to go.
With ears to hear what I would know.
With eyes to see a sunset’s glow.
There are always blessings in our lives to offset the daily disappointments and concerns. We only need to lift our heads to see, open our ears to hear, and get out and walk the neighborhood. It is amazing how beautiful things around us can be, in spite of trash from the aging RVs of the homeless, in spite of dog droppings on the sidewalks, in spite of criminals and weirdos and knuckleheads.
Thank you, Lord, for this beautiful earth that we are charged with protecting. Let us do so!