WITH THE HEAVENLY FATHER -
......DEVOTIONS FOR LAMBS. No. 250
Do you count your blessings? There is an old hymn that says:
“Count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.” I have a story for you today about counting blessings. It was written a long time ago, called “Mrs Pickett’s Missionary Box.”
There was once a poor woman who had never done anything but complain all her life. She thought she had no blessings to give God thanks for. Some one gave her a missionary box with the words written on it, “What shall I render [give ] unto the Lord for all His benefits [ blessings ] towards me?” She was asked by her niece, who believed in being thankful, to put a penny into the box for every blessing she could discover in her life. This is what the aunt said:
“Great benefits I have! Guess the heathen won’t
get much out of me at that rate!”
But she decided to count her blessings ( although she was sure she had none ) and to put a coin in the box if she found any. “I’ll enjoy thinking about the hard times I’ve had any way.” The box sat there all week, and that lady did not put any coins in it. Then her niece came and told her about the poor widows in India. About them being beaten, and starved, and how they were not allowed to think for themselves. Then her aunt said, “I’m thankful I am not treated like that. I am a widow, but I can earn my own living and no one tells me what to do.” “All right, “ said Mary her niece, “put a coin in the box for your first benefit.”
The aunt got a boarder [ a person who lives in ] for her spare room, so she put another coin in the missionary box. Then she sold some of her hens’ eggs. Mary brought the box in while she was counting the money for the eggs. The aunt growled and said, “This isn’t the Lord’s benefit, I work hard on those hens to get them to lay.” Mary said, “If it isn’t God’s benefit, then whose is it?” And she sang, “Count your many blessings, name them one by one.” The words of the song kept ringing in the aunt’s ears. Then Mary told her about students in China who had suffered horribly under the Communists. The aunt said, “I sure am glad I live where that doesn’t happen.” “Put in a penny and be grateful to the Lord “ smiled her niece. Then her aunt was moaning to herself about her best shoes looking tattered and worn. She saw a man with no legs in a wheel chair at the park. “I’m glad I have feet to put my shoes on, anyway” she thought. And she rushed home and put a coin in the benefit box.
Do you know that poor woman soon found so many things to be grateful for that she was very surprised! The missionary box was filled in a short time. She saw her blessings everywhere, and got into the habit of counting them instead of moaning and complaining. There is a psalm in the Bible that could be called the “Benefit Psalm.” It is Psalm 103. It helps us to count up all our benefits:
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.The trouble with us often is that we “watch the hole in the doughnut, instead of the doughnut.” We should “watch the doughnut, not the hole.” If you don’t understand that, ask an adult to make it clear. One boy once said to his mother, “I have so much good stuff that I don’t want to pray, I have nothing to ask God for!” So his mother said, “Then give thanks to God for all your blessings.” The boy thanked God because he was not blind like a boy he knew. He thanked God for his kind Mum and Dad, and his nice warm bed. He thanked God for his strong legs and his good food every day. That boy had so much to thank God about that his mother thought he would never finish his prayers! When he had finished he said, “Mum, I really never knew how simply super wonderful God is to me!”
Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's. ...For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.”
We are commanded by God to “enter into his gates with thanks-giving, and into his courts with praise." (Palm 100:4). Do you give God thanks for all He has done for you? It will make your heart sing with joy if you do. “Count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”
See you again, next time, lambs of God!
( Credit given to the writing of Hannah Whitall Smith ).