How can you transform creepy crawly things into something beautiful? By freezing and framing them in a snapshot. That’s what I did with worms. They mimicked a lace design. What drew my attention to something I distained? A high school assignment which challenged us to photograph beauty found in unlikely places. Creating the project required a new perspective. I discovered exquisite beauty by seeing things differently. Viewing the familiar more closely, from underneath, and in unusual lighting revealed a new world of splendor.
Blessings are like beauty. We notice the ones which are easy to spot. Like the miracle baby our son and his wife just had. Infertility experts informed them they’d never conceive. So they adopted a baby girl. Then along came the “impossible”—a pregnancy. Last week I held their infant daughter, baby McKenzie. No one had to point out the obvious: my hands held God’s bundle of blessings.
Sometimes it’s harder to recognize a blessing. When mental illness (MI) hits, it engulfs life and eclipse blessings. But they’re there.
How did I find some? By viewing my situation differently. Concern over Chris’s MI was sucking me into the quicksand of despair, discouragement, and depression. In anguish I cried the prayer of a sinking soul: Where are You, God?
Determined to find Him, I set out to compile a list of His faithfulness and love. I trusted God hadn’t left me. And believed He’d been leaving trails of His powerful works along my path. I needed Him to open my heart and mind. To find evidence of His care and compassion.
Reveal Your blessings, Lord.
With pen in hand I sat silent. And waited for God to guide my thoughts.
He led me on a mental tour of His love.
The first blessing popped into my head:
Chris is stable.
He occupies himself constructively and doesn’t remain isolated.
Before I knew it, my paper was filled.
Chris works out regularly.
He sets goals for himself.
He’s responsible with money.
He laughs as refreshing humor.
He willingly helps me with computer problems….
Then a wonderful thing happened. My thoughts shifted to other areas of my life. Proof of God’s provision poured from my mind faster than my pen could write.
I highly recommend you ask God to lead you on a mental tour of His love. He’ll point out blessings.
The Psalmist shows us how to detect God’s blessings. Psalm 77 gives us a picture of turmoil which was abated by recalling the mighty works of the Lord.
“‘Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?’
“Then I thought, ‘To this I will appeal: the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand. I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds (Psalm 77:7-12).’”
I’m grateful for that passage (and others like it). It’s God’s way of telling me I’m not the only one who asks those questions when things seem too much to handle. It also shows me how to find God when I’ve lost sight of Him.
As I wrote this message, a familiar song kept running through my head.
“Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.”
Enjoy the same spiritual refreshment and be blessed by that hymn: