In noting the role people, timing and material blessings play in our lives, I realize I run the risk of overlooking some obvious reasons for thanksgiving. We praise God for all kinds of answered prayers, including those offered for health, finances and relationships. But even with these, our thoughts frequently focus on the people, timing and resources He has providentially brought together to meet our need. Consider how God sent Jesus into the world by calling Mary and Joseph (people), in the fullness of time (timing), and provided every material thing that was needed (a stable, travel money in the form of gifts from the Magi, a carpentry business).
Remember, these are merely suggestions. Please don’t let me define your list. Instead, ask, “If I can’t possibly keep up with everything God is doing to bless me, where should I focus my attention?” Give yourself permission to evaluate and change your list in light of changing seasons in life.
Count your blessings, name them “one-by-one” and it truly will surprise you what the Lord has done. Are you afraid your circumstances are so difficult you won’t be able to concentrate? On the contrary; sometimes our deepest valleys yield our greatest gratitude.
When David was fleeing the jealous rage of King Saul, he sought refuge with Achish, King of Gath (whose generic kingly name was Abimelech). After Achish’s servants recognized David, he decided to mimic the part of a madman to save his life. And in this critical period in his life David was still able to write, “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips” (Psalm 34:1). It is time to start counting.