Monday, January 2, 2017

Reading Through The Blessing Jar

Toward the end of 2015, I saw a suggestion online about a Blessing Jar. The idea was to write down a blessing every day and put it in a jar, then read them at the end of the year. It sounded like a great idea, so I gave it a try. Doing it every day eventually fell by the wayside, but I added blessings off and on all year. 

Last night, I read through those little scraps of paper and was utterly astounded at the blessings I'd received. It gave me a much-needed surge of hope for 2017. 

No matter what comes, God will take care of me. I can see that reality from the sweet care He gave in 2016.

Some of the problems I faced are surprising. I'm not sure how I found myself in such a situation. Some are miraculous. Some are simply the kindness of friends.

Here are just a few of the precious blessings from last year:

"I tried to root hydrangea leaves from online directions and it worked!"
"Ryan pushed Sam in a wheelchair so he could join us on the Tanglefoot Trail."
"I have enough money to pay the first of the month bills." (written on the 30th of the preceding month)
"Unexpected book sale. Made $13."
"Terry Manning's photograph of MLK helped me see his ministry in a new way."
"Ole Lou not doing well, but still eating canned food."
"120 people signed up for the Hosea study."
"Bought a ribeye on sale for $3 and I'm finally not fasting!"
"The Clay Papers is #1 in Amazon Kindle Free Spiritual Devotionals."
"Wow. Still #1. I'm on the Amazon best-seller list!"
"24 of the 29 people at the prayer retreat made public decisions to follow Christ more closely today."
"Jan and Edith prayed with me about my decision. I have peace and clear direction now."
"Needed to buy a bag of feed but only $4 in cash. Found enough change around the house to total $7.21. I have 26 cents extra!"
"Friends helped me get the hay in out of the field before the rain came."
"Blue skies today after days of gray."
"Lost phone in the road while chasing Maggie. Mail woman and Sam both drove over it but not on it. Phone unharmed."

From finances to phones, I was blessed. Sometimes the blessings came straight from the hand of God. Sometimes they were delivered through friends and family. 

I've read through those slips of paper again this morning and given thanks for every one. A sense of wonder and awe has overwhelmed me.

Scripture makes it clear we're to enter God's presence with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. I've done that today, because I took the time to make a note of the blessings I'd received, and it's a precious place. 

Why not make a blessing jar of your own for 2017? It takes a little discipline, but this side of the effort, it's totally worth it. 

"Enter His courts with thanksgiving,
And His gates with praise.
Give thanks to Him; bless His name;
For the Lord is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting,
And His faithfulness to all generations."
Psalm 100:4,5 nasb

What blessings did you receive in 2016? I'd love to hear about them. Feel free to share in comments. Let's enter His courts together with our thanks and praise.
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: Welcome to 2017: My Word for the Year
I need your prayers as I write the James study. It will be online and in your place, at your pace. Available January 15th. Make plans to join us. We'll have a digital community for discussion and questions. 

If you'd like to help support this ministry, here's the link to give: Global Outreach Acct 4841 If you'd rather use a check or money order, make it out to Global Outreach. Remember to put "Account 4841" on the "for" line. Mail it to: Global OutreachPO Box 1, Tupelo MS 38802