Good morning my friends, how are you today? How was your week? Jazz, our cat, is presently crowding me.  I am sitting next to the open kitchen window, (open window, I said; for those of you, who live in the north east, you know what I’m talking about). Anyway, she (Jazz) is literally vying for what I very much consider to be, my space.  I think she believe she can catch the birds, as they flitter from tree to tree or as they wonder on the grass, searching for food.  The window screen is down, she can’t get outside, but that does not stop her from trying.  Do you suppose, she thinks she is a lion or perhaps a tiger? She is definitely fun company though.  Today is going to be a superb, beautiful, gorgeous, lovely, enjoyable, and sunny day.  Today, we are hoping to bask in 70°.  Praise the Great God of heaven!

It’s so easy to be joyful when life throws us chocolates instead of lemons (well, maybe flowers instead of chocolates; I don’t really like chocolates).  When life is seemingly problem free, or when people and things fall into place, joy and laughter became a bit easier.  Perhaps though, you are like me, when life is seemingly perfect it’s almost scary, isn’t it? When is the other shoe going to drop, you wonder? Are you carefree or do you still worry when life appears perfect?

Although life isn’t always perfect and problem free, I’ve met a few people that have brought me to shame, when complain is my game.  These people seem to have suffered so very much and yet they praise the Lord through it all.  Most have suffered far more losses than I can ever wrap my head around such devastation. Yet in it all, they remain thankful.

But that’s the key isn’t it? Thankfulness; gratefulness is the glue that keeps them from falling to pieces.  Being thankful; counting my blessings bring the joy and peace that soothes my heart, when it hurts. Recalling the grace and mercy and faithfulness of my Great God enabled them to be joyful in spite of the pain, they were suffering. Thankfulness; do you suppose that’s why God commands it in this verse? 

I love this hymn, written by Johnson Oatman Jr. with this beautiful chorus: 

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God has done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
*Count your many blessings, see what God has done.

How do you respond to pain?  

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