The psalmist wrote, “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” Psalm 103:2

It’s so easy during the Christmas season, to get caught up in the rat race and forget to pause and count our blessings.

We rush to shop — we rush to Christmas parties — we rush to Christmas cantata rehearsal — we’re caught in the biggest traffic jams of the entire year; we busy ourselves with the Christmas decorations — which today seem to go up immediately after Halloween) We are loaded with benefits and blessings, but we get too busy to count them.

In the midst of it all, sometimes we find ourselves being short on temper and patience — which segues into self-pity, almost to the point of despair. Our blessings, which are many, somehow get obscured.

But God has his way of reining us in with a few very pointed visuals. Like the other day, I was hurrying out of the grocery store — behind in my schedule — having to, of all things, rush home to set the Christmas train up on its tracks for the grand-babies, so I could rush to the church and serve the Lord. Suddenly, I saw a lady pushing a wheelchair with what appeared to be a teenage boy in it. He had either suffered a stroke, a paralyzing injury or else had a severe case of cerebral palsy. It was all I could do to make eye contact with a woman who seemed to be happily accepting her lot in life.

Then later that morning, I saw someone walking out on 287 wearing what appeared to be a backpack, headed no telling where. Earlier in the week, I was confronted with a lady who was short on funds and was about to have her water turned off.

Yes, God has a perfect way to illustrate to us that, in the midst of all this hoopla that we erroneously call “trials and tribulations” there is a reason to rejoice. There are blessings — numerous blessings — that we can count - even though they are countless.

God tells us in his word to not “forget all his benefits.” The Psalmist also writes in Psalm 68:19; “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.”

The World English Bible renders the same verse, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burdens. . .” Darby translation says, “. . . “day by day” doth he load us with good.”

Mahalia Jackson sang it in the classic gospel song, His Eye is on the Sparrow.

"I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,

For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me."

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Paul Gauntt currently serves as the pastor of First Baptist Church of Palmer.