I’ve just been writing the Christmas cards. ‘Every blessing for Christmas and the New Year’ is one of my favourite comments. What does that mean? What actually is a blessing? There is an old hymn that advises us to ‘Count your blessings, name them one by one.” And then there is that saying for wedding cards – “May all your blessings be little ones”.
That’s a benediction Abraham would totally agree with! A little while ago, back in Genesis 15 v 2, he was struggling to count his blessings, since he did not have a ‘little one’ – no children and no heir; no-one to continue his family line. Without that one blessing, all others felt like sawdust. Compare that to Genesis 24 v 1. “Abraham was now old and well advanced in years, and the LORD had blessed him in every way.” Every way. And most especially his precious son, Isaac.
That reminded me of Ephesians 1 v 3 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” Paul then goes on to list all the ways in which we are blessed.
Yet like Abraham, we can feel as though we are missing out on something, which spoils our enjoyment of the all the other good things. (See also ‘If Only’) When Abraham got to the end of his life and looked back, did he see all those years when he yearned and yearned for a child? From that perspective he just saw the blessings. The sadness had faded away. It had seemed like forever, but, as my mother always tells me, “It’s never forever!”
If you feel like you are missing out on an aspect of life, (and to be honest, most of us do have some issues to struggle with) try reading Psalm 30, and then Ephesians 1. Your struggles won’t disappear, but counting your blessings will get a bit easier. And when the ‘joy comes in the morning’ it’s the joy you’ll remember most, not the struggles.