And I realize that all of those blessings come directly from God.
There is no way that I could be this blessed on my own merit. And I do not know why I am so blessed. I'm not going to list my blessings here. I started to make a list and I realized that this is a list that I can keep to myself. We each have our own blessings, unique to our circumstances. It's good to look for and acknowledge our blessings. It's good to give praise to God for our blessings.
Two things come to mind as I think about gifts and blessings from my Heavenly Father:
1) Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more. Luke 12:48
God has not given me these gifts so that I can roll around in lush green fields and brag about how blessed I am. He has given me these gifts because he thinks I will manage them well. I am making changes to my life so that I can do that. The more I realize that I have been given, the more I realize my responsibility in being diligent in His service. I think specifically of my kids and my husband and marvel that God has given them to me.
God, may I have the wisdom and knowledge to care for this gift of marriage and family as You want me to? And may I teach my family to use the material gifts that you've given us to share Your love with others?
2) The Beatitudes
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
These are blessings. There are blessings all around us, we just need to remember that God sees them that way and wants us to as well. If you've never studied the Beatitudes, plan some time, soon, to do so. There is so much in that passage that we don't realize. Read it, and read it again, and realize the blessings that are out there.
A song I've recently come to love and appreciate is "Blessings" by Laura Story. She wrote it after her husband was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Through it all she waited for life to get back to normal. From an article on Today's Christian Music: “I thought it would all get back to normal. Here’s the road… we’re gonna take a detour. About a year into it, my sister said to me, ‘You know, I think the detour is actually the road.’”
If you have not heard the song, please listen to it:
We spend so much time and energy trying to live that blessed life that we miss the point. It's all a blessed life. We just need to realize it. "The detour is actually the road." Some detours are a lot bumpier than others, and we may find that we've lost a passenger at the end of a journey. But, at the risk of sounding trite and kitschy, as long as we're heading down the road with God driving us, we'll all end up at the same destination.
We cannot feel blessed if we don't take the time to number our blessings, even the blessings that look like detours. As the old gospel song says, "Count your blessings; name them one by one. Count your many blessings; see what God has done."