My little girl Reagan loves musicals. She has her favorites; Sound of Music, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and of course this time of year it is White Christmas. This past week I must have watched White Christmas a dozen times. She will watch the same musical every day, over and over and over until she could quote it in her sleep.
Funny thing happens when you fill your mind with something with that kind of repetition…..it kind of gets stuck. I have had one particular song stuck in my head for the last few days. Everywhere I go; I have been humming or singing “Count Your Blessings”. I cannot stop; it is just on my mind and on the tip of my tongue.
Funny thing happened this morning as I stood in the voting booth this morning and looked at my options for the coming for years of leadership for America……before I filled in any circles…..I stopped to pray. I wanted to one more time ask the Lord to direct my choices, my mind and heal our country. This election has made so many around us and in the church nervous, anxious, and fearful. Christians see the issues before us and on the ballot and are certainly concerned for the future of the church and their children. This is undoubtedly an important moment in the life of the United States of America.
I stood in the voting booth, just having finished my prayer and began to bubble in my choices…….I also began to sing. “When I’m worried and I can’t sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep, and I fall asleep counting my blessings.” What a great time to sing and think about those words. They will preach.
Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Paul was admonishing the church in Thessalonica to be a church that was joyful and thankful. Great advice and practical wisdom for us, but the real staccato of the verses come with two other words. We understand that we are to be joyful and thankful, but Paul says be joyful ALWAYS and thankful in ALL circumstances. Paul really meant these words; this was not an exaggeration or joke. We wonder as I am sure this church wondered, “How is that possible?” With all the suffering, sorrow, sickness, struggle and anxiety in our lives, how is it possible to be joyful ALWAYS and thankful in ALL circumstances?
Well, we know as those who know and are found in Christ, that our joy is not bound by and found in our circumstances. As a matter of fact our joy and thankfulness is coupled with sorrow and suffering in so many cases. We know that we CAN be thankful in all circumstances by God’s grace because we also agree with Paul that God “works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are committed to obedience.”
We are thankful that our identity, hope, purpose, forgiveness, and future is not dependent upon any man-made thing or an election. Jesus is victorious and so are we. We are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. When you feel the anxiety welling up in the days ahead or as you watch the news in the coming hours, maybe spend some time in the Word “counting your blessings.” There are so many to number it will dwarf whatever concerns may creep into your mind and spirit.
When you vote, when you struggle, when you doubt, remember,”do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Make supplication WITH THANKSGIVING. (Phil 4:6) God is in control and Jesus always wins.
Maybe you can also hum or sing some Bing Crosby…..that may help you as well. “If you’re worried and you can’t sleep, just count your blessings instead of sheep, and you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings.”