So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7
My office is just a half mile from home. However, between my office and my house are railroad tracks. Frequently, I get stopped by a passing freight train. Usually, I am running late. Always, I am frustrated by the delay.
Continuing my Lenten commitment to curb car crankiness, however, I decided it was time for a new response. Instead of complaining, I would count my blessings, naming them one by one, with each passing car. My first try I ran out of "blessings" long before I ran out of railroad cars. I came to realize that my habit of complaining had robbed me of joy. Every day I am indebted to God my Savior, whose mercy is new every morning, whose love never ends, and whose transforming power is always within reach. Every day I experience multitudes of blessings, even if I can’t feel or see them.
I’ve had many more train interruptions to pursue my Lenten promise. I found faster trains required quick sentence prayers of thanks—forgiveness, salvation, the Gospel, Jesus Christ, flowers, meaningful work. Slower trains let me reflect a bit longer on each gift God has given me, an undeserving sinner. As I have more days to work on this discipline, I look forward to practicing my thankfulness to God for His overwhelming generosity in His Son. I look forward to the day when the train is long gone, and I’m still counting my blessings.
Prayer: Loving Father, help me give thanks in all circumstances for this is Your will for me in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Response: Name your blessings one by one.
(Devotions from "Cross of Ashes" by Christine Weerts, a Lenten devotional provided by Lutheran Hour Ministries. Copyright 2005, Int'l LLL. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend.)