When I wake up these days, I am full of thankful blessings. Thankful to open my eyes. Thankful to see my choc labs wiggling at my bedside. Thankful to hear kitty-kitty meowing from wherever she is curled up to sleep. Thankful for the first deep breath in – Yaw – followed by the first deep breath out –
Weh. Thankful for My Father who whispers: ‘Kneel”.
“During the days of King David, a devastating plague is said to have claimed the lives of a hundred Israelites every single day. That’s when a council of Jewish rabbis prescribed the practice of reciting one hundred blessings per day to counteract the plague. According to tradition, the plague stopped immediately. I can’t promise that gratitude will cure whatever ails you (or stop the Coronavirus), but gratitude is a good place to start. And it’s where the double blessing begins.” Mark Batterson, author of the Circle Maker, Whispers
This devotion caught me this morning. I laughed. It is so obvious. When I start my day – pause throughout the day – end my day – thanking my Father, the next day radiates His peace in all I do. Even when a pandemic strikes and isolates me from my Grands and students (and cuts my gym time in half), Joy seems to pour out of me and His peace envelops me.
“Shout with joy to the LORD, all the earth!
Worship the LORD with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.” Ps 100:1-2
After reading Batterson’s quote, I began to fill my head with all the blessings of the day. There are way more than a hundred. I started writing them down and was at 10 before I got out of the bathroom. Then I began to wonder how many more blessings I missed. The flock of robins in my yard. The music of all the spring birds over my head. The wide array of colors in spring flowers. Tree pollen that swells my sinuses. Essential oils that make it tolerable. The taste of food. The smells of spring.
Where do I stop?
Life is a miracle basket – a basket overflowing with blessings. Basket Blessings – too many to count – Basket Blessings from a loving Father and Son who know all too well the agony and the chaos of this world. Basket Blessings that should bring us to our knees throughout the day. Basket Blessings that fill me with joy even when I dislike the dark valley that is hard to navigate with these old eyes and crackling knees.
“Acknowledge that the LORD is God!
He made us, and we are his.a
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.” Ps 100:3-4
Raise your hands in the air. Yup – do it. Right now. Start circling your hands in concentric circles and repeat this phrase: “He is turning my mourning into dancing and my sorrow into joy.”
Are your feet tapping? Is your soul dancing? Go ahead. I know you want to do so.
And place your Basket Blessings on the holy ground where you check in with Our Father. He’s waiting. Waiting just for you to just acknowledge what He has given you.
A Basket of Blessings He designed just for you.
“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” 2 Chron 7:14
“For the LORD is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation.” Ps 100:5 [Kerolos Safwat art]