As I write this it seems that spring is finally on its way! It feels like it’s been winter for a long time but as I look out of my study window at the glorious sunshine and watch the post woman delivering the mail in her shirt sleeves, I’m mindful of a verse from Genesis, Chapter 49, verse 26, ‘the blessings your father gives are greater than those of the everlasting hills, greater than their eternal riches.’

Occasionally in life we pause to remember how much we have to celebrate; the many blessings and gifts that God so freely showers upon us. Sadly, such moments are all too rare. More often than not, we lurch from one demand to another, one crisis to another and one responsibility to another, scarcely finding the time to draw breath and reflect on the reasons we have to give thanks. If we’re not careful, we can end up brooding on the things we haven’t got, sucked into a vicious circle of self pity and the sorrier we feel for ourselves the more grounds there seem to be for such feelings.

We need to stop sometimes and, in the words of the old hymn, make time to ‘count our blessings’, for when we do that, life can seem very different. There is so much that is not only good but indescribably wonderful and beautiful beyond words. The words of Genesis above were concerned not with God’s blessing but with Jacob’s blessing to his sons, but they could speak more appropriately of all God has done for us. 

Hopefully this year won’t be a repeat of the last, but if at times it feels like it is, and the view from our windows doesn’t look quite so glorious, pause for a moment, remember all that we receive from God and far from feeling sorry for ourselves, we should stop to consider all the reasons we have to give thanks.

Revd Karen Browne