Counting blessingsBy loreen sarmiento
Cebu Daily News
I can’t remember where I read or who I heard this from (sort of paraphrased now): It’s good that we count our blessings. But it’s better to let our blessings count.
But it hit me enough after reading. I paused, smiled and told myself, “Yeah right. That makes sense.”
When I saw my three children growing up and eventually leave college to work, my prayers changed. From petitions for provision and protection, I can hardly go to sleep without telling God what I am grateful for the day. Of course praying for my children’s safety and well-being will always be there but my focus is more on counting my blessings and thanking God for getting me to where I am now: fulfilled, peaceful and happy especially after struggling through the years of being a widow.
And every time I count my blessings, my heart wells up with so much gratitude that my tears fall. I can only feel joy and relief after a bout of thanksgiving and I thank God again for the blessing of feeling this way. It’s like one blessing leads to the next in non-stop fashion. Maybe that’s why the term used is “counting”. Numbers are infinite and as long as you count, the numbers will not run out.
Blessings, as long as we acknowledge God for them and thank Him for that, will not run out. God promised that in the book of Lamentations: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
It’s ironic that this book which is named Lamentations, meaning “a cry of sorrow”, could echo so much love, hope and joy from this promise. But I think God meant it that way to signify what life is really all about.
Life can be full of sorrow but count on God to accompany our sadness with His love, mercy and blessings. And these will never be consumed as long as we continue counting them as gifts from Him.
As I step into the threshold of my prime, the counting of blessings seems inadequate now. I feel more joyful when I make my blessings count so others may also believe that there is truly a loving God.
Twice a year, there is a spring cleaning period. Things I have not used for the past year or I have outgrown, go to a SHARE BOX. Some things I reserve for Christmas giveaways and some are packed up in my car’s baggage so that at any given time or place I can give them away to anyone who can use them.
Birthdays used to be a gathering for family members and people I like to be with. But the grand meals count more now when I share them with people I don’t know and who would never even have a chance to taste them. I did that 5 years ago and would love to do it again.
Christmas has passed and it’s always a season that I look forward to because I receive lots of gifts of all kind. But for four Christmas Days now, I have risen early and driven along the streets to give out packs of food to people whom I think deserve an early morning blessing. The food was prepared by me the night before and it was great to do a labor of love.
One Christmas I had several pear-shaped and ball-shaped hams. What good are these blessings if I don’t make them count for other people? So I cooked them, packed them up and gave them out to people on the streets.
I don’t mean to toot my horn. But I mean to toot God’s horn. He is the source of my blessings and His promise in Lamentations is true. His love is endless and infinite that we can’t just count them here and now. But we can make them count for other people who don’t have them
A study showed that if we have a daily routine of being thankful for the blessings we receive, we will have higher levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy compared to those who are focused on negativity.
If we can channel these positive vibes to make our blessing count for others and not just for us, who can stay sad and miserable?
We all have been blessed, but to some people, it’s hard to see. So why don’t we share our blessings so they can see that they have us as the source of their blessings?
May this New Year be one of new beginnings.
We can start by looking out of our windows and let other people enjoy the view of what God has lovingly blessed us with.
Make a lifesaving difference by sharing time, talent and treasures for others.