I am sure you have heard the expression, "Count your blessings."
In our deepest pain, our blessings may be hard to find because it is difficult to see past our present circumstances. When we choose to walk with God, there is no guarantee that there won't be struggles. By acknowledging our blessings and worshiping God in the storm, we not only honor Him, but it opens heaven's floodgates of strength and comfort to carry us through whatever we are facing. When we feel like we have nothing in us, those are the times we need to praise Him all the more.
About five years ago, we walked through a very painful time when our daughter was harmed in an act of violence. More than once, I thanked God that there were only twenty-four hours in a day because with each new morning His mercies were new. At one point during that hard time, my friend took my hands and raised them to the Lord and said, "Thank God for the blessings you can see." At first I looked at her like she was crazy and I thought how can there be anything to be thankful for in this nightmare. As I sat on the floor with tears streaming down my cheeks, my friend held my hands up to the Lord, and I said, "Thank you, Lord, they did not kill my daughter." In that moment, I felt a sense of joy during the most painful time of my life. My daughter was alive! I had missed that in my pain. With my hands still held up by my friend, I began to thank God for the blessings I had not noticed in my pain.
Suddenly, I realized she had let go of my hands and I was holding them up on my own. I was still hurt by what had happened and concerned about what lay ahead of us, but I had new strength. For the first time in over a month, I could sleep through the night. The next day I added a night of sleep to my list of blessings.
In September, 2015, while thanking God for a new blessing in my life, I got the idea of making a blessing box for my husband and myself. It sits in the area where we spend time in study and prayer. On the days that are hard and we struggle to find the words to pray, we can dump out the blessings in the box and then read them one at a time. It is very powerful. I can start on empty and when I am done reading them, I am running on a full tank of joy.
I want to encourage you to make a blessing box for yourself. If you are married or have children living with you, make a blessing box to share or make one for each of you. When the storms hit and you can't find the words to pray, dump that box out in your lap and start thanking God for how He has blessed you. Let Him turn your sorrow into joy because a "joyful heart is good medicine" (Proverbs 17:22 NASB).