During this winter season I’ve often heard people say that they can’t wait for Spring to come. That desire was especially strong a few weeks ago amongst the heavy downpours of snow, icy roads and winter heating costs. But even now, as spring is a little closer, the wait can be difficult too; sometimes that last mile of the race can be the toughest. I was recently encouraging my congregation that though we don’t always have what we want in life (such as spring), what we do have is plenty.
Consider David, who writes the very popular Psalm 23. He dealt with enemies in his life, trouble in his family, and various other struggles, yet in verse 5 of that Psalm he says with confidence “My cup overflows.” Consider also the author of Psalm 136 who uses the phrase “His love endures forever” 26 times! Clearly, He was someone who saw his cup as overflowing as well.
But how could these two individuals reach that conclusion that they were blessed despite life’s struggles? They found that peace and contentment when they took the time to reflect on who God was and how He had been and was still working in their lives. In Psalm 23, David saw his relationship with God like that of a Shepherd to His sheep; God the Shepherd, David the sheep. To that end, he realized that God takes care of the things that hinder him from finding rest, He leads him along good paths, protects him from enemies, goes before him preparing the way and does many other good things that a Shepherd does for their sheep. In Psalm 136, the author has reflected upon the beauty of God’s creation that he gets to enjoy every day, how God has granted His people freedom, how He’s given them victory and on and on it goes.
Sometimes what helps us to endure the struggles of life is to consider its joys as well. In other words, sometimes we need to count our blessings one by one. When we count our blessings it may not bring Spring to us any sooner, but it will help us to appreciate what we have until it arrives.
Pastor Jim Alblas
Pioneer Christian Reformed Church
3110 17 Mile Road, Cedar Springs