Learning to Count

Learning to Count

Which is heavier: a pound of lead or a pound of feathers?

Technically neither is heavier. They are both a pound, but we naturally attribute density to lead and lightness to feathers so lead seems heavier. When you consider one compliment versus one complaint, which is greater? They both total one. Considering they both come from valuable sources, our tendency is to ascribe more weight to the one complaint. All of a sudden, one complaint drowns one or one hundred compliments.

Crisis, Chaos, and Complaints always loom larger. They are the huge shadowy figures that cause us to duck our heads under the covers of safety. If we flick the light on, however, we will see the shadow is not the true form. The shadow was from a small figure in our life that appeared to be monstrous.

When the psalmist exclaims, “I will show forth all thy marvelous works,” he is instructing us in a lesson of counting. You see, we often forget how to count. Job knew how to count. “Shall we receive good from the Lord, and shall we not receive evil?” What Job experienced was traumatic. Let’s not trivialize it, but his response to his wife was a lesson of counting. In effect, Job was expressing, “If we ‘shew forth’ or number all of the Lord’s blessings to us, does none of it count once tragedy strikes? Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Nothing Job had was of his own power. He came into the world naked! Anything he enjoys in this life is simply the marvelous works of God. Job didn’t let the handful of crises reduce his balance in the bank of blessing to zero. There wasn’t a run on the bank in Job’s life.

In all this Job did not sin with his lips. What is the key? “They that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.” Job, more than most, had the grounds to feel forsaken. Forsaken is a zero balance in the bank of blessing. Because Job knew how to count his blessings, his initial response was to bless the name of the Lord. Which is greater: one blessing or one blow? When you count all the marvelous works of the Lord, you will realize God has not forsaken you.

“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as he have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).

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