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The Blessing Jar: Remember to Say, "Thank You"

At the beginning of this year, a dear sister-in-Christ invited me to a ladies ministry gathering called, “The Blessing Jar Fellowship.” The idea behind the ministry is to share the blessings of life instead of complaining about our problems. As I write this month’s Blog, I am visiting my sister and family for the Thanksgiving holiday. While packing in my bedroom preparing to travel here, my eyes fell upon my Blessing Jar. It is a tangible reminder to me of all of the times God blessed me unexpectedly; times when He answered my prayers; times when He protected me from dangers I did not even recognize; times He has been faithful and came through for me just when I needed Him the most. My Blessing Jar is a reminder that it really doesn’t take much on my part to simply stop and tell God, “Thank you!”

I am reminded of the story in the Bible when Jesus healed the ten lepers, but only one came back to thank Him (see Luke 17:11-19). From this example, we should all pray, “Lord, let me be the one…” I want to live with an attitude of gratitude every day of my life. Every day is a good day to give God glory because it is His day, and for that alone, we should rejoice and be glad in Him, even when we are not glad about our circumstances. If the truth were to be told, I am sure that all of us could think of things that have happened to us in 2015 that makes us breathe a sigh of relief that the year is almost over. In expectation, we happily welcome 2016 with the wonder of all the blessings the year will inevitably bring. I even went so far as to tell God I’m glad 2015 is almost over, and I’m so excited about the greater that awaits in 2016. With the gentleness that only the Father can extend, He lovingly reminded me that the year is not over yet, and I still have more “thank yous” to offer. Although I would like to quickly put some of the not-so-good moments of 2015 behind me, I should rejoice in the fact that He had divine purpose in it all. He really was there all of the time! Even in my darkest moments, God was working all things together for my good and His glory!

Sometimes, it’s easy to forget to give God thanks for the stuff that doesn’t feel so good. Pruning (God’s cutting) and circumcision (our own voluntary cutting) never feels good, yet it is necessary for our spiritual growth and development. If we can keep our perspective correct, then we will find the goodness, grace, strength, and mercy of God in the midst of every situation. This is when we can reach down within and give thanks! Blessings are not just in the mountain top experiences of our lives, but they are also to be recognized when we are in the valley. Count it all joy, and count your blessings along the way!

When I return home, there are two things I can hardly wait to do: first, add to my jar more blessings I am grateful to be able to offer thanks to God for; and second, empty my jar and thank God again that I can reflect upon His hand at work in my life at every point along my journey this year. Is there really such a thing as a "small" blessing? I don't think so! Will you join me in this prayer? ”Lord, let me be the one-the one who always comes back to offer praise and give you thanks.”

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