Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Counting My Blessings

"My cup overflows with blessings."  Psalm 23: 5b

Sweet Shereen spends her days as a shut-in with a debilitating disease.  Her daily life is bleak. There are times I don’t know what to converse about because her life  is shut off from life and people. She must be so bored, I conclude. Seldom have I heard a complaint from her. Her Bible reading and prayer times give her meaning. Her cup overflows in spite of deprivation of good health and social outlets.

Dalila, on the other hand, complains about nearly every relationship and that she is not able to get the job of her heart’s desire and finding the right man to marry seems illusive. Her cup is perceived as empty.

I can see myself in both Shereen and Dalila. Some days my cup feels empty and some days it is clearly overflowing. However, deep down I know God has made my cup overflow with blessings.

Spiritually: when I gave my Bible away to a Rohingya Muslim it showed me how privileged I am to have a Bible in my language. When Christian friends come over I have friends to pray with in my language. Rasamal doesn’t have that privilege. When I go to church I just walk across the street. Iman doesn’t have that in her homeland. My husband joins me in my faith. Nuri’s husband does not.

Materially: my simple home gives me contentment. God also fills the rooms of my home with His presence. He has blessed me with material things like plenty of food, a washing machine, fridge, electric range, dish washer, and flushed toilet. I have running hot water, a bathtub, and a car. I remember a time without some of those things. Life was much tougher. Many people live in poverty or are displaced, deprived of these comforts.

Physically: I have been blessed with good health but have experienced enough sickness to know how sick people can feel. Some of my richest soul blessings have occurred during sick times. Having mental health is more valuable to me than physical health. It takes 20 minutes by car to get to my doctor or the Emergency Room. Many do not have any medical facility nearby, nor a dentist.  I don’t worry about surgery expenses because they are covered by our medical system. There are many people in this world who wish that was the case for them. I don’t hear guns, missiles, or bombs go off where I live. There is safety and freedom from sexual harassment on the streets.

Relationally: My husband, children and their spouses and beautiful grandchildren are precious gifts. Some have been denied those blessings. When Fatimeh was widowed she fought desperately to keep her children. The in-laws were determined to take custody of them. The courts were like sharks after her. I will never contend with something so painful as that.  My life is rich and meaningful having friends from numerous cultures. As a woman where I live I am treated with respect.

There's no end to God's blessings! It makes me want to bless others in return.
Dear heavenly Father, when I count my blessings my cup is full and running over. Thanks! In Jesus’ name, Amen.