Nothing is 100% perfect. Even on the mountain top, you can soak up the beautiful view or fuss about the wind destroying your coif. This is Tommy Newberry’s point on Day 3 of 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life titled, “Hundreds of Problems, Millions of Blessings.” This title reflects the scripture upon which his book is built which suggests we look on the positive side of life.
“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.” – Philippians 4:8 MSG
Since Paul is giving us direction in this passage to choose the best thoughts, Newberry concludes that we do have a choice where we put thoughts and attention.
I confess, I tend to the negative. One personality test described me as someone who is not only always trying to fix myself, but everyone around me as well (you’re welcome!). But God is showing me the foolishness in that. I see how this tendency has wrecked relationships, stirred up dissatisfaction, and kept me on a treadmill of useless self-improvement exercises. It doesn’t help any of us that we live in a culture that looks for perfection in health, physique, parenting, home décor, career—you name it! I would even go so far as to say a big chunk of the American economy is based on pointing out the negative so companies can sell you some imagined version of perfection. Pretty crazy, huh?
Today’s exercise is to make a list of your current problems and current blessings with a third list of some anticipated blessings coming up. This exercise is geared to help you realize how heavily loaded your life is on the positive side if only you take the time to notice and it gives you the opportunity to “accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative” (which reminds me of a great song that I’ve linked here: https://youtu.be/f3jdbFOidds)
Honestly, my problems are few and small, but for the purposes of this exercise, I’ll call my messy house a problem. On the flip side, I came up with a list of at least 10 blessings afforded me by this house whether it is messy or not. Give it a try with a list of your own. As for future blessings, my new granddaughter, Cleo, is set to make her appearance into this world at any minute and THAT will certainly be a blessing—especially as her house is only 1.5 miles from mine!
If you’re feeling buoyed by all your blessings and want to go the extra mile, he suggests you paraphrase Philippians 4:8 to apply to your own life and circumstances. I took a stab at that.
In conclusion, Leanne, think about all the things in your life that are good and deserve praise. You get to help people who are struggling with cancer every day on your job and at the same time make a living–and don’t forget health insurance and 20 vacation days every year! You have a lovely home right near your daughter and grandchildren, so you get to see them a lot. You’ve connected with a wonderful, godly man and the future together looks bright. You have a great extended family who love you and are always there to help. Your are healthy and active. Your church family is a home away from home. God is expanding your territory every day and giving you wonderful ways to serve His Kingdom. Best of all God loves you more than you could ever fathom, and He comes to meet with you at your slightest call. You’ve got it all!
There are millions of blessing all around us if we take the time to look. Newberry’s thought of the day is tailored to remind us of this, “I see the blessings that surround me.”
What is one blessing you are thankful for today?