As children, many of us learned to sing a Sunday school hymn which includes the words:
Count your blessings,
Name them one by one;
Count your many blessings,
See what God has done.
This is excellent advice. To awaken in the morning and lie quietly for a while, just being grateful for all the lovely things we can recall, prepares our minds and hearts for the new day ahead. Or to take time, upon retiring, to review the blessings the day has brought is to be assured of calm and restful sleep. To pause at any time and say, “Thank You, God,” for some specific blessing nourishes and strengthens the soul.
A spirit of praise and thanksgiving is something we should make a vital, indispensable part of our everyday lives.
No matter who we are, where we are, or what the time or occasion, we always have something for which to be thankful.
With perceptive hearts, we can see that God bestows upon us much more good than we need for our existence. The mere need for shelter is enriched by warmth and comfort. Food to sustain our bodies often delights our palates, is served with imagination to please our eye, and is frequently enhanced by interesting conversation and good fellowship.
Light and air and water are necessary to life, but when they are combined in a brilliant sunset over the sea, these elemental substances become a masterpiece of divine creation.
The wind may be a necessity, but what of the song it sings on a summer night? The rain quenches the earth's thirst and produces flourishing food crops, but what of the colors and fragrances of flowers also nourished by the rain? These are luxurious and lovely extras of life which shed beauty and induce wonder.
Look at your needs and see how simple they are compared to your blessings. Take time to enumerate all the good things you have.
You will discover that there is far too much beauty and goodness in life simply to fulfill utilitarian purposes. The lavish hand of God spreads bountiful gifts over all the world, into every life, touching with grace and generosity every receptive soul.
How you word your prayer of thanksgiving is not important. It is important that you recognize your blessings and feel joy and gratitude. As you become increasingly aware of the love. goodness, and beneficence of God, you will be filled with such an uplifting and overwhelming sense of gratitude that words and feelings will merge into a warm glow of gladness and exhilaration. You will discover that thankfulness lifts you out of depression and doubt and elevates your soul to the heights of spiritual joy and security.
The good in your life expands proportionately as you look for and give thanks for your blessings. Praise and thanksgiving will make you more aware of the good about you, and your thoughts and prayers will reach out to include others. You will feel divine harmony with others as you mentally praise the good that you see in them, for our spirits always respond to what is good and true in people and circumstances.
Counting your blessings rewards you in infinite ways.
When you begin to recognize your good and give thanks for it, you will meet it in unexpected places.
As you open your heart and mind to God, good will come to you in every experience and in every person. In the accumulation of little joys, in small blessings heaped upon other small blessings, life adds up to a deep, priceless, and lovely adventure.