When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

I was sitting reading a Kindle book when the Hymn ‘Count Your Blessings’ kept running through my head. The book I was reading is a murder mystery with no relevance whatsoever to blessings and the counting of them.

Then the above words, which are the opening verse, came into my mind, and I began to think. I feel certain that the following is a mix of Spirit inspiration and my own experience.

The world’s current situation can certainly be described as a tempest that has thrown mankind into turmoil. Possibly and probably, the last thing that people will be considering doing at the moment is thinking about and counting their blessings.

But maybe we should reconsider. Within the turmoil and heartache there are many things to be thankful for. We are often advised to think about the bigger picture, but in these worrisome times concentrating on the smaller elements might be easier and provide some much-needed support and comfort. So, I began to do this, and it has helped me tremendously. I would like to invite you to consider doing the same.

I wouldn’t presume to tell you how to go about this but having started doing it myself will give you one down-to-earth, but positive personal example.

I have searched for the last 9 weeks to buy Self Raising Flour – ‘sods law’ was that I had run out of this, just as lockdown was implemented.

Yesterday I bought some and I’m looking forward to a host of things I have felt ‘deprived’ of over the last nine weeks. Not least home baked bread. A simple blessing but with other auxiliary blessings - ‘the imagined smell of this bread baking,’ followed by a thick slice oozing butter, may be, even though I am type 2 diabetic, a smidgen (take that to mean a huge dollop) of Strawberry Jam. The jam might be considered a sin, but it’s going on to my blessings list! (For the bread aficionados I know strong flour is best but prefer S.R.)

A batch of scones might be the next job!

My counting has surprised me and made me realise just how blessed I am, in spite of the circumstances created by Covid 19.

Stay Safe, Stay Happy and hopefully be surprised!

God Bless,

Minister Alan Rawnsley