I’m noticing the Month of Gratitude on social media. Folks are sharing something for which they are thankful each day in the run up to Thanksgiving.
That’s a worthy effort. “Counting our blessings” can transform our view of the world and of ourselves. It can push negative thinking out of our heads and drive complaints from our lips.
Some folks will use Thanksgiving dinner as a time to express gratitude. A collective grace is said as each person at table names something for which they are grateful, and when all have shared all say AMEN.
My guess (and this is not a criticism, just an observation) is that most thanks expressed will be for fortuitous circumstances, like good health or a job. Relationships will be another group of blessings named. Some material things will be in the mix, such as comfortable homes or precious gifts received.
But there’s one more serving to be enjoyed, and it’s seldom named, probably because it sounds hokey or like something somebody is “supposed to say.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8:37 NRSV)
Do we understand that we are loved by God? Can we push aside all of the other platefuls of goodies and fill up on that choice helping of good news? Do we see all of the other things we might list as gifts and tokens of that love – more than in some nebulous sense, but in a very personal sense, as real as a loved one’s embrace?
“In all these things…” The Apostle Paul wasn’t counting blessings when he wrote that, but smarting from afflictions. If he could perceive God’s love through the bad stuff, how much more might we name it as we count our blessings?