When you're worried and you can't sleep,
Just count your blessings instead of sheep,
And you'll fall asleep, counting your blessings.
Any true fan of the movie White Christmas will hopefully recognize these lines from a song that Bob sings to/with Betty. It may be a secular Christmas movie, but the words that Bing Crosby croons onscreen hold a powerful message for us. Bob urges Betty to forget about all her troubles and worries and think of all the blessings in her life instead.
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I have to admit to myself just how often I ignore the wisdom of these words and count my complaints instead. Are the early snow and decidedly chilly temps putting you in a cool mood? Does thinking about your to-do list before the in-laws make their appearance cause you to cringe (or maybe just sigh tiredly)? Are you hitting the end of your budget for the month and wondering just how the Christmas season is going to pan out this year? Is someone in your life struggling with health or happiness? There are any host of worries that can crowd out the thankfulness. And we are so good at LETTING them!
Dear friends, no matter what our problems or pleas, our heavenly Father wants us to carry them to him. He asks us to "cast all our anxieties on him, for he cares for [us]." (1 Peter 5:7) Our faults and failings, our shortcomings and sadness are no match for our Father. After all, he took care of our biggest problem of all--our sins which separated us from him. Our Savior Jesus died on the cross to pay for all the moments when we would forget (or refuse) to trust in Him. He washed away our sins of worry and doubt. And now he asks us to lay our burdens at his feet, promising us rest. And he delivers.
Will counting our blessings be a perfect moment with our "honey" by the fire, singing a perfect duet and sighing with blissful contentment, as it is for Bob and Betty? No. But casting our cares on Christ and counting our blessings instead will leave us with a peace that no one can shake. And it will leave us with hearts overflowing with thankfulness at all life's joys, little and big.
This Thanksgiving, I hope you can fall asleep after all that turkey counting your blessings.
God bless your Thanksgiving!