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Counting Blessings

Count your blessings.

As Thanksgiving approaches, many might be wrestling with that concept. One glance at the world of November 2008 and you'll see market turmoil, Iran about to go nuclear, politicians promising to spend even more of our money, and a sometimes nasty, divisive electorate (whatever happened to thoughtful political discourse?). I could go on; that's just the short list.

When considering the world through the prism of current events, it's not hard to become disconsolate. Blessings might not be the first thing popping into our heads. Perhaps, though, current circumstances give us even more of a reason to be thankful.

Maybe it's the tougher periods in life that provide the strongest reminder that we have a God who isn't a "fair weather friend." He cares for us even during the difficult times and through the most serious of challenges. By placing our trust in Him, we find the strength to forge ahead.

That doesn't make life a walk in the park, of course, especially during a recession and in a dangerous world. Perusing the 401(k) statement is pretty unpleasant of late. You might be wondering how you're going to make ends meet financially. Beyond finances, there are a host of other issues you may be dealing with.

Maybe someone in your family has a serious or potentially life-threatening medical condition. And so on.

I remind myself that the pendulum does tend to swing back. Then I remember the many things I've still got going for me, even when it seems like the deck is stacked. And I remind myself that "with God all things are possible."

So, in advance of Thanksgiving, I'll share a verse I saw in a greeting card many years ago and have posted in my office. I don't know who wrote it so can't give credit, but it struck a chord. You might like it, too.

God has not promised skies always blue, flower-strewn pathways all our lives through. God has not promised sun without rain, joy without sorrow, peace without pain. God has not promised that we shall not know toil and temptation, trouble and woe. He has not told us that we shall not bear many a burden, many a care. But God has promised strength for the day, rest for the laborer, light for the way, grace for the trials, help from above, unfailing sympathy, undying love.

Wishing you a blessed Thanksgiving.

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