BY: ANDREW SCHROER
“Count your blessings.” That phrase is used so often in our world today, it has become cliché. But do you know where it comes from?
The phrase originates from an old Jewish tradition. According to Jewish law, a faithful Jew will speak one hundred blessings every day. In other words, he or she will thank and praise God out loud for one hundred different blessings every day.
So Orthodox Jews count their blessings to make sure they have said all one hundred. Imagine trying to come up with one hundred things every day for which to give thanks to God. That must be hard to do.
Actually, it’s not. As the Prophet Jeremiah reminds us, God’s mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22,23).
Every day God showers us with blessings old and new. The problem is we don’t always notice them. We don’t always count them. We don’t always say, “Thank you.”
So often we take God’s blessings for granted. We don’t even notice the blessing of air conditioning until it breaks down in the middle of summer. We don’t recognize the gift of speaking until we lose our voices. We don’t appreciate the ability to walk until we are sitting in a wheel chair in the nursing home.
That’s why it is so important to count your blessings. See how good God has been to you. You have a home and food – clothes and cars. You have clean air to breathe and fresh water to drink. You have air conditioners, iPhones, computers and indoor plumbing.
And even more importantly, you are forgiven. You have a home in heaven waiting for you because of Jesus. God even forgives you for all the times you failed to see his goodness, for all the times you blindly took his blessings for granted.
God has given us so many blessings we can’t even count them all. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.
The whole point of my new book 364 Days of Thanksgiving is to encourage you to keep a journal – to write down every day one blessing God has given you. There is only one catch. You can never repeat. It has to be a different blessing every day.
Take the #364DaysofThanksgiving Challenge. And though my publisher isn’t going to like me saying this, you don’t have to buy my book to do it. Just get a notebook and put it by your bed. Every night when you go to bed, think about one good thing God gave you. Thank him for it. Write it down.
Could you come up with a different blessing every day for a whole year? That’s the challenge. You don’t need to come up with one hundred a day, just one. But as your list grows and your journal fills, see if it doesn’t change how you look at your life. See if it doesn’t change how you look at your God.
Count your blessings.
Pastor Andrew Schroer has been a pastor for more than 15 years and is currently serving at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Edna, Texas. His new book “364 Days of Thanksgiving” is now available on Amazon.com. http://364daysofthanksgiving.com/
Watch for my upcoming interview with pastor Andrew Shroer! Stay connected by signing up for our free membership or our professional membership at www.nacjw.com.