The God of Surprises

16 Oct 2017

I’ll be giving my age away here, but a few days ago a song came lilting through my mind that I used to sing in Sunday School:

Count your blessings, name them one by one
Count your blessings, see what God has done
Count your blessings, name them one by one
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done

Quaint, I know, but there is something powerful that happens in our hearts, our spirits and even in our physical bodies when we choose to be thankful.  So, this week I am going to count my blessings, and I am inviting you to join me. As the song helpfully instructs us, it’s not a matter of adding up a tally, “Awesome I had 157 blessings today!”  No, counting our blessings means to name them, and it’s in the naming of the blessings that we start to realise what God is doing in our lives, both the big things, and the little things that usually go unnoticed.

Here’s the CYB challenge:  for one full day, from when you first get up in the morning until you hit the pillow that night, write down all the good stuff in your day.  Use your smart phone, your tablet, or grab a note book and pen, whatever will make it easy to jot things down throughout the day.

To give you a sample, here’s my blessings so far this weekend morning …

  1. Woke to a cold, sunny day.  But my bed is really warm.  I am blessed to have a warm cosy bed.
  2. Straight into the shower under hot clean water, that I can let run into my mouth.  When I lived in Nepal I had to shower with my mouth clamped shut.  In Australia I am blessed to have plenty of clean safe water to drink, even in the shower!
  3. ‘Best Spouse Ever’ brings me a hot cup of tea.  This happens every morning so it’s easy for me to take it for granted.  It’s a miracle he still does this as most often I only drink half of it because I get distracted by my morning ‘to do’ list.  I am blessed to have a husband who chooses to serve me tea every morning.
  4. By the time I’m up and dressed, one young adult son has already gone to work. His casual job that fits in with his uni workload is a gift from God.  Working at a church, good hours, good people.  Blessed!
  5. I get myself some yoghurt and muesli for breakfast but the house is still cold, so I walk into the back yard and eat in the morning sunshine.  I’m standing under the Hills Hoist in my slippers, surrounded by trees and listening to the birds.  Best breakfast venue in Melbourne!
  6. I have a few texts from one sister, then a phone call from the other.  My siblings and I are still reeling from the death of both our parents in the last 13 months. Our father passed away only 3 weeks ago.  But in the last 18 months I have had more connection with my sisters than I had in the last 10 years.  Our relationships are strong and complex and wonderful, and I am so grateful to have them both in my life. Doubly blessed!
  7. There is no food in the house and I start working on a menu for the week and a shopping list.  Out of the blue I get a phone call from a beautiful work colleague (from our Pioneers office) and she says she was thinking of me and my family and how busy we have been, and could she cook us lunch today?  I was so shocked at her generous offer I was speechless, and she finally said, “are you still there?”. How amazing to have a friend who anticipates a way to bless me! And here’s the cherry on top, she’s from India so we get to have an Indian feast for lunch.

What will the afternoon bring?

Take the CYB challenge and be surprised by what the Lord is doing in your life.


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