“Mom, this is a good song.”
I was busy cooking dinner, but his words struck me.
He was referring to a song on the movie White Christmas which has the line, “If your worried and you can’t sleep, just count your blessings instead of sheep and you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings!”
I took a moment to discuss the song with our son and then he returned to the show and I to cooking.
Yet, as I have thought about that moment between us, I’ve realized the truth of “counting your blessings” is far deeper than just trying to get to sleep.
It’s a change in perspective and it’s an attitude of thankfulness.
But it should be applied to all of life.
Scripture is our guide, for in it we see the effects of people’s choices to their lives and their hearts.
Numbers 11:4-6 NKJV — Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said: “Who will give us meat to eat? We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!”
This story in Numbers is a warning.
Not only does a lack of thankfulness produce attitudes of grumbling and complaining, it damages the relationship between those who indulge in it and God.
The Bible records what manna was like and all they had to do was pick it up from the ground and prepare it.
Numbers 11:7-8 NKJV — Now the manna was like coriander seed, and its color like the color of bdellium. The people went about and gathered it, ground it on millstones or beat it in the mortar, cooked it in pans, and made cakes of it; and its taste was like the taste of pastry prepared with oil.
Numbers 11:10 NKJV — Then Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, everyone at the door of his tent; and the anger of the LORD was greatly aroused; Moses also was displeased.
How different this could have been if they had simply thanked God for His faithfulness and provision.
God did grant their request for meat, but the end result wasn’t positive.
Numbers 11:18-20 NKJV — “Then you shall say to the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat; for you have wept in the hearing of the LORD, saying, “Who will give us meat to eat? For it was well with us in Egypt.” Therefore the LORD will give you meat, and you shall eat. ‘You shall eat, not one day, nor two days, nor five days, nor ten days, nor twenty days, ‘but for a whole month, until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you, because you have despised the LORD who is among you, and have wept before Him, saying, “Why did we ever come up out of Egypt?” ’ ”
The children of Israel were not only ungrateful for all God had done and was doing, they were unrealistic about the past.
Recalling the variety of food in Egypt, but skipping over the truth of their hard bondage was twisting the truth and forgetting the welt in Egypt, crying out to be delivered.
Grumbling or complaining, an attitude of discontent in our own hearts is a danger signal that our gratitude has eroded, our perspective is false, and our hearts need the discipline of thankfulness.
No matter the circumstances, there is always something we can praise God for.
Salvation should be at the top of the list.
For our gift of freedom from sin and death is not unlike the bondage God redeemed the Israelites from.
In their circumstance, it cost the first born of all Egypt to purchase their freedom.
In ours, the price was significantly higher, our freedom was bought by God, Himself.
No matter what, may we never stop counting that blessing.
Instead, let it be the thing we praise God for morning to night, for He certainly is worthy of our praise.
1 Chronicles 16:23 KJV — Sing unto the LORD, all the earth; shew forth from day to day his salvation.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for Your salvation! Lord, thank You for Your sacrifice, which I can never truly comprehend. Lord, please place a guard upon my heart, that I might not sin against You by complaining or grumbling. Lord, please help me to be diligent to praise and thank You throughout my day. Lord, thank You that I can praise You when I’m happy or sad, frustrated or content, my emotions do not have to hinder my gratitude. Please remind me to praise You, especially when I’m struggling, that my perspective will be accurate and honorable. Lord, please help me to walk with You in all things with a thankful heart, for there is nothing which is as precious as You and Your gift of salvation. I love You, Jesus. Amen.