Woke up this morning with a tune from my youth stuck in my mind. A song I haven’t sung in at least 40 years I’d say. Yet there it was, the whole chorus, clear as day:

Count your blessings, name them one by one;

Count your blessings, see what God hath done.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,

Count your many blessings see what God hath done.

The rest of the lyrics (look them up) are wonderful and, undeniably, assume a doctrine of sovereignty and providence that is lacking for most today, to be sure:

So, amid the conflict, whether great or small,

Do not be discouraged, God is over all.

Just one example. In any case, a blessing from my Christian upbringing that started my day off on the right foot to be sure.

My dear mother was not an educated woman. She loved to travel, though I think she only got on a plane a few times in her life. She was so thankful I got to travel internationally before she died. But one thing she taught me very young: you can either choose to be happy in this life, or you can choose sorrow. You cannot choose your sufferings or difficulties, only how you will react to them.

A Christian lives in God’s world and therefore has all he or she needs to experience daily, abiding joy, even in the midst of suffering. This is not a pitiless, chaotic world. You are not a victim. You are God’s creature, called to glorify Him by being thankful to Him and serving Him in whatever circumstance, high or low, you are placed. You are to count your blessings, and see them coming from His hand and purpose. A child of God whose eye is fixed upon counting God’s blessings will find them in so many places where others see only darkness and despair.

So it may not be November, and turkey may not be on the menu, but the fact is that thanksgiving is the most joy-imparting Christian virtue, one that we need more than ever in our lives.

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