Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the LORD. Psalm 107:43 ESV
My favorite song in the movie White Christmas starring Bing Crosby is not White Christmas, although that is the most famous. Irving Berlin wrote a song and inserted it into the movie that has no lyrical content regarding the holidays. He wrote the song after a personal experience dealing with anxiety and stress leading to insomnia. His doctor said this, “speaking of doing something about your insomnia, did you ever try counting your blessings?” He then wrote the song “Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep)” which was nominated for best song in 1954 and inserted it into the White Christmas movie.
Psalm 107 recounts the history of Israel including both its high and low moments. God is faithful throughout their lives to respond to their cries for help in the middle of their distress. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction. Ps. 107:19-20.
In verse 43, the word consider or ponder (NIV) is wə·yiṯ·bō·wn·nū or it’s root bene. It means to discern, consider, think about, and understand. It also has a root meaning of “to separate out” such as to separate ideas mentally. A wise person has the ability to separate emotions, responses, and bad experiences to gain a clearer understanding.
Bad things happen to all of us. The beliefs and conclusions that we draw from these bad experiences can cause debilitating patterns of thoughts and behaviors OR lead us to maturity and growth. The filter for growth is the character of God as expressed in His word.
The steadfast love of the Lord never changes. His mercy never come to an end. This is true of any person who is seeking the Lord regardless of the mistakes, stress, or trauma that they may be experiencing.
Remembering and repeating God’s kindness and graciousness toward you moves you toward connection with Him. When this relationship is renewed, the emotions of peace and joy follow this connected experience.
You have the capacity to “separate your thoughts” from the stress that is overwhelming you and you can move toward appreciating God’s blessings. Perhaps you can start with a smile right now, knowing that God loves you, because He really does.
Counting your blessing exercise is like training to run long distance. The more you train, the greater your distance capacity grows. Get in the habit of verbalizing your blessings and then keep adding to them. Ask God to expand your blessing vocabulary and remembrance. It may seem a little awkward at first, but get your brain and mouth trained to speak blessings.
May you fall asleep tonight “Counting Your Blessings”.
Blessings. Love y’all