thanks . giving — counting blessings + considering the Cross


Count your many blessings name them one by one

Count your many blessings see what God has done

Count your many blessings

Name them one . by . one

Count your many blessings

See what God has done!

Ever since I can remember we would sing out this chorus on Sunday mornings, feeling blessing and singing happily. Everyone is singing, everyone is counting. Everyone is blessed.

There was this one time when I was a teenage girl, I took the time to start a list.

  1. Jesus
  2. the Bible
  3. Salvation
  4. my church
  5. my family
  6. school
  7. friends

The list kept on going,… there are so many blessings to count. The length of the list almost overwhelmed me, and I rolled my eyes at my own naïveté, that I could actually write a list, that I could actually count my blessings.

I could sing the song with everyone, but I could not count the blessings, every one.

Older now, instead of rolling my eyes at the length of the list of blessings, I’ve moved past naive list-making and realize the number of blessings are like the numbers of the stars over our heads, infinite, too many too count. And these countless stars and countless blessings are not meant to be quantified, they’re meant to cause us to marvel at the Creator, the One who Blesses, to see the Lord, and to worship Him for all of who He is and all that He has done!

Every blessings, each day, each hour, each minute – – – 365 days in a year. 24×365 = 8760 hours in a year. 525,6000 minutes make up only one year. Then the seconds… and then all of the moments and memories that make up those numbers, that make those numbers mean something significant. Blessings heap into a countless pile, like the countless stars.

Counted blessings overwhelm me, but instead of rolling my eyes and throwing the list into the wastebasket, I choose to let the blessings pile, let the blessings turn my gaze upward, let the counting and the counted become worship of the One Blessing.

These heaped blessings – family, and friends; church and community; memories, journals, books, and cups of hot tea; salvation and sanctification, suffering and pain – pile up on top of me, pressing me face up the sky, back down to the ground, arms out from my side, legs straight, feet pointing into the air… I’m pressed into the shape of a cross.

Heaped blessings press me, shape us, into the shape of a cross. 

This is the power of piled blessings.

Piled blessings are not meant to be counted and saved, like gold coins in a vault.

Piled blessing are not meant to be quantified and are are not meant to qualify.

Piled blessings are meant to press us into the shape of a Cross.

Piled blessed are given so that we can give out.

Piled blessings are meant to be poured out, blessings multiplied, a joy shared is a joy multiplied.

Piled blessings are meant to be treasure hunted from heaps of pain and suffering and all of our various trials. Only Jesus can transform what was meant for our evil into eternally good.

One more blessing for the pile.

Piled blessings are meant to point us to praise the name of Jesus.

Piled blessings are meant to point others to praise the name of Jesus.

Piled blessings are meant to pile praise to the heavens.

Piled blessings are meant to blaze a trail of people who carry the life and love and name of Jesus to every family member, each friend, neighbors who line our streets, strangers who line our lives, all the way into eternity.

If we make a list and count our blessings and we only pile up the blessings and we stop at the blessings, if we forget to list and then look up to the One who blesses us, we are prone to despair; we are prone to pride. We might think that our blessing are not enough compared to the person’s list beside us. Or we might think that all we gave ourselves this list, or that we deserve this list, or that all of these blessings deserve our praise.

Our blessings are gifted to us so that we might praise the name of Jesus, so that we might look up and worship, so that we might look out and welcome. 

So this Thanksgiving, let’s count our blessings, one by one. Heaping blessings humble us, pile on us. Pressed under these blessings, let’s conform to the Cross, and live with hearts and arms opened wide for the one name of Jesus.

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.”

(Ephesians 1:3)


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