We used to go to church with an elderly gentleman, a retired preacher. His wife played the piano and he sang. A couple of times a year they would come up and sing and he almost always sang the old hymn, "Count Your Blessings." Although I have to tell you that they sang a version that is a little different than what you're thinking. He always started by singing, very slowly, this old chorus:
"There's a roof up above me, I've a good place to sleep.
There's food on my table, and shoes on my feet.
You gave me Your love, Lord, and a fine family.
Thank you, Lord, for Your blessings on me."
And then his wife would cut loose on that piano and he would start singing a very fast version of Count Your Blessings! Then, when he was really wound up, he would sit down at the piano beside her and play the "high notes" while she played the melody. I can tell you that by the end of the song the entire congregation was on their feet singing and clapping. (If you're not familiar with standing and clapping at church while you sing, you should come to church with ME!) He went home to be with our Lord several years ago but to this day, I can close my eyes and I can see and hear him and his wife sing that song.
This old preacher man, and his wife, had experienced many hardships in life. They were preachers back before there were nice parsonages and fancy churches. He was a traveling preacher and they drove from town to town. They had buried a son. They had truly given their lives for the Lord's work, and never once did I ever hear him complain, or see him when he didn't have a smile on his face. Even those last few times he came to church before he was called home to heaven he was a blessing to others. And every time he sang that old song "Count Your Blessings" I know that he meant every word of it from the bottom of his heart.
Today I have so much to be thankful for that it hurts. Tears are pouring down my cheeks as I type this while trying to wrap my mind around all the things our Lord has given me that I am so unworthy of. He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on a cross knowing every sin I would ever commit, and yet He did it anyway. Because He loves me in a way that cannot be understood by my earthly mind. Thank you Jesus, I love You.
He has given me a wonderful husband and a son and a daughter that I thank Him for every day. My husband is a hard worker who loves me and will stick with me thru sickness and in health, for better or for worse. No matter what I can always count on him. My children -- my children are smart and beautiful and handsome and funny and everything any mother could ever ask for in a son and daughter. My prayer is that they will always, always live their lives with ONE PURPOSE, and that is that one day heaven will be their home for eternity. My parents are alive, and healthy and together after almost 48 years. Thank you mom and dad, for everything. I didn't realize until I became the parent, just how much you have done for me and I love you for it. My sisters and their families (Rhonda and Renda, I love you), and my husbands mom, and sisters and their families -- I was blessed to not only be born into a wonderful family, but God allowed me to marry into a wonderful family as well. Next to my Savior, my family is the most important thing in my life. I have wonderful aunts and uncles on both sides of my family. Cousins, well, I couldn't even begin to list all my first cousins, and second cousins, and third and fourth cousins that I have been blessed to know and actually have them be a part of my life.
I have a job. I've worked at the same place, well, let's see, I started here 17 years ago yesterday. I have a home that is warm and dry and full of love, and peace. I have never not had enough food to eat. Other than giving birth to my two babies, I've never spent a night in the hospital, never had a broken bone, never had a serious illness.
And friends. Let me tell you about my friends. I am a blessed lady 'cause I have the best friends anyone could ever ask for. Friends that are really THERE for you and I mean there when it isn't all fun and games. Friends that encourage me as I try to live this life for God's glory. And I can only hope that they consider ME as much of a friend as I consider them to be. My life has been so much richer for the friends God has allowed to be a part of my life. They bless me.
So today, as I prepare for another Thanksgiving Day, I'm counting my blessings, and I am humbled. As King David said in the 23rd Psalm, "my cup runneth over."
"There's a roof up above me, I've a good place to sleep, there's food on my table, and shoes on my feet. You gave me Your love Lord, and a fine family. Thank you Lord, for your blessings on me."
Amen and amen