While many years have passed since I last joined a congregation in singing Johnson Oatman, Jr.'s hymn, "Count Your Blessings," the lyrics find their way to my lips from time to time. The first line begins . . . "When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed . . ."
His choice for the fourth word makes me wonder if he (1856-1922) and Horatio Spafford (1828-1888) sat down to talk. You may recall Spafford's "like sea billows roll." Perhaps they both just liked the image of the sea. Whatever the reason for the like theme, the two lyricists direct us to an important truth. Namely, during billows we do well to continue to honor God. We can do so through proclaiming the wellness of our soul and counting our blessings. This week is a good week to focus on the latter. We can make good use of Thanksgiving. Oatman gives us some advice. "Count your blessings, name them one by one . . ."
Notice the "one by one." In counting our blessings, we need not count by 10s, 5s, or even 2s. Ones will do. That way we won't miss one. We will slow down a bit and count each blessing that comes to mind. Start today. The apostle Paul gives us motivation.
Notice the words always and for everything. So, start today and keep it up.
I'll let Oatman close today's post.
"When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done."
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