Currently I market services for a home health and hospice company in the Dallas Metroplex. This includes calling on physicians and case managers in hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation, assisted living, memory care, and long term acute care facilities. It is both challenging and rewarding as I push myself in new arenas.
One particular afternoon while visiting a rehab facility and checking in at the front reception desk, I heard an old familiar melody on a very out of tune piano. I had not heard this hymn for decades as many of the old hymns have taken a back seat to newer worship songs. I happen to have a love for both; however the hymns evoke nostalgic feelings, and I found myself rehearsing the song over and over in my mind for days. The song was “Count Your Blessings”.
The chorus of the song goes like this, “Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your blessings, see what God has done. Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your many blessings, see what God has done.” Simple lyrics-profound implications. What struck me hearing this song was the environment where it was being sung. This was not one of the upper end facilities where filet mignon and fresh seafood are served; where I wondered if I were in a five star hotel or a home for the aged. This rehab long term home desperately needed updating. Undoubtedly it serviced the poor. The patients here were recovering from strokes, amputations, unhealed wounds, broken bones, and a myriad of other conditions. Some never get to go back home as they formally knew it to be. Their lives take on a different route and adjustments are mandatory. Yet I could hear their voices faintly in the background accompanied by that old, out of tune piano, singing COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS. It left an impact on me. The wisdom of an old hymn reminding me that no matter where I am or where I am going, no matter where I have been or what I have lost, when I take the time to shift the focus off of my circumstances and intentionally count my blessings, I can begin to see clearly how God has worked in and through me.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 ESV states this beautifully. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when the heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Notice that the Scripture tells us WHEN and not IF. Heat is coming and it looks differently in everyone. For these residents in the rehab center, heat appeared as aging minds and bodies, recovery, dressing changes, and learning the skills of swallowing, eating, and walking again. Hearing the song though caused me to contemplate the trust in the LORD that some or perhaps all who were singing must have grasped. For even as the heat of the day or even season of their lives relentlessly poured upon them, their leaves were green and their fruit was ripened as I got to pick from the trees, eat the sweet goodness, and reflect on my own blessings. I have heard it said, “It is bigger than you.” Herein lies a wonderful example as they were quite unaware of the occurrence, as I was not visible to them.
What is the litmus test in all of this? Trusting the LORD comes first. As the Word says, the heat will come. If we truly trust in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD, we will have deep roots sent out by a stream. We are tapped into the springs of living water. Our leaves remain green, and we never cease to bear fruit. If we fear or become anxious in our year of drought, where is our trust? We have taken our eyes off of our Source, the living water, and relied on our own abilities. Go back to the BLESSING! It resides in our trust in the LORD.
Now COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS, from the deep roots, to the provision of the stream. Name them one by one. They are endless! Count your many blessings, see what God has done.