Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Blessing Jar

One of my friends (Joy Melville) posted a photograph of a jar on Facebook around the New Year. She planned to write good things that happened during 2016 on scraps of paper, store them in the jar, and read all of them in one marathon of good memories at the end of the year.

The Blessing Jar is a variation on journalling that appealed to me because of its ease. As you can tell from the photo, I found a jar of my own. Jar, paper, and pen now rest in a basket in my kitchen. 

As the seventh day of the new year begins, I already have fourteen blessings in my jar. 

There have been more than fourteen blessings this year, of course, but I've recorded the notable ones. Most of the cards in my jar record answered prayers and unexpected blessings of grace that have already arrived. They are records of the faithfulness of our Grace-giving God. 

One day, I had just written a blessing on a card when a serious concern came to mind. "I can't wait to write God's answer to that need on a card and put it in the jar," I told myself. 

A loved one's loss of faith has been a major concern for quite a while. The verse, "He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion..." (Philippians 1:6 esv) came to mind. God had begun a good work. I knew that was true. If so (and it is), then He will also bring that good work to completion. 

In a way, I can count it done, even if I haven't seen that answer of God yet. 

I pondered that thought for a while and decided to thank God in advance for the answer to my prayer that's still to come. A card to record my statement of faith was quickly written and placed in the jar. It's been a big relief as I've thanked God all week for His promise.

Another concern has weighed heavy on my heart. The first "thanksgiving from faith" card was so inspiring that one more card seemed in order.  This time, I thanked God for the answer to my prayer in advance, based on a promise from Joshua 1:5. "I will never fail you or forsake you..." (nasb) 

God's answer may not look as I expect, but it will come. He will not fail. 

The words to a song, learned in childhood, comes back to me almost every time I drop a card in my Blessing Jar. 

"Count your many blessings, name them one by one. Count your many blessings. See what God has done." (Oatman, 1897)

Whether you use a jar, a journal, or voice your thanks in prayer, let's be faithful to give Thanks to God for all His blessings, great and small. 

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:16 esv

In case you missed one of this week's posts, here are the links: Out with the OldFreedom and GraceWalking with God or Hiding with the World,  The Same JesusThe God Who Never Fails and Halfway to Canaan

#gratitude #countyourblessings #blessingjar #givethanksinallthings #answeredprayer