By J. P. Crenshaw, Plainview, Texas
Of all the means at our disposal in which we might spend a few moments, possibly none is more enjoyable or profitable than counting our blessings.
“Bless the Lord, 0 my soul, and forget not all his benefits” (Psalms 103:2). When you are ill which of your countless benefits does your mind turn to first? I think of having such a good, clean, comfortable bed; just the right amount of clean cover; tile needed food for strength and recovery; and many other such blessings belonging to my room.
Then maybe your mind will turn to the fact of personal contact. How wonderful it is that, in spite of every handicap, you still have the chance to influence so many people who enter your room from time to time. Not very many circumstances of life offer the impressive opportunities that come to the shut-in. Paul did most of his remarkable writing from the prison cell. Let that thought remain in your mind today when you read one of his letters. It will add greatly to your appreciation of the uplifting thought you find there to picture him in a much more unpleasant circumstance than your present one as he finds it possible to write such inspiring messages.
“The trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye might be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James 1:3-4). Maybe you have been chosen to show those close to you how a Christian can use adversity. Here is an opportunity frequently overlooked. I suppose that there is no other road to perfection but the one over which you are now traveling.
But let us now take the thought a little higher. Have you thanked God today for such benefits as your well printed, easily read Bible? And maybe for someone who is willing to read it to you? Did you ever try to imagine yourself in the position of our fathers of the restoration movement? That has not been so very many years ago. No one ever pointed out to them that their salvation depended on their faith in Christ, repentance, confession of Christ, and baptism into Christ. They were obliged to hunt these conditions out one at a time and then place them in the order in which the inspired men of the long ago presented them to a lost world. Did you ever think how long it would take you to link these teachings in such a clear way as they were presented to you? How did it happen that you live in an age in which these things are so easy to grasp and accept? All peoples, in every age, have not enjoyed the blessings that we sometimes take for granted.
Let’s Count Our Blessings All over Again Today
“Whoknowest whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14). The beautiful history of Esther has in it many lessons of encouragement for us, not the least of which is that our lives do join with those round about us in such a way that our interests cannot be separated from theirs. Mordecai told Esther that if she failed to use the God-given opportunity to deliver the Jews that deliverance would still be accomplished, but that she would lose her blessing and her life. It might do us good to think about our responsibility and our opportunity in our contacts today. Are we using every chance God gives us to influence others for good? There are sick that I have known from whose room I always come with a new vision and determination just because of their outlook on life from their sick bed or their chair. Such conditions do give you an opportunity denied one with more freedom of movement.
If God’s plan for your life calls for your influence to be spread from such conditions, do you suppose that you can count it a blessing just because of what it has been used to accomplish in the life of someone else? I am not suggesting that God sent your sickness upon you. I am suggesting that since it has come, you are in a position to make great use of it.
Jesus told Peter one day “by what death he should glorify God” (John 21:19). Surely we may use our trials and even our death to this same end.
Can you count even these things among your blessings? “All things work together for good to those who love God” (Romans 8:28).
“Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day” by Glenn Hitchcock