What A Difference A Year Makes!

November 18, 1998
by Mary Daniel

Proverbs 9:10,11,12 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. For by me, thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased. If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself; but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it. (KJV)

Many, many years ago, we sang a hymn called "Count your blessings". The words instructed us:

    Count your blessings, name them one by one,
    Count your blessings, see what God hath done.

The church played a large part in most of my life and I always thought that I was thankful enough. I did bible study, prayed, gave thanks, said grace. I mean, how much thanks could one give?

I've also been blessed always with wonderful friends and family who have seen me through thick and thin, and I've tried to be as good a friend as my friends have been to me. Always too, I have "given back" by doing volunteer work. Things seemed sort of balanced. Sort of.

For various reasons later on, I ventured away from the "organized church" on any kind of regular basis. My life was full and busy. Our children were grown and gone. My parents were elderly, ill, and far away. I visited them often. After their passing, I decided to let God direct my life, and I've tried to listen to what he says.

Sometimes I've been scared, sometimes unsure. Sometimes I've been scared, resistant, and sometimes I've upset the applecart; but what spilled out was more rewarding than had it been left in.

My mind is a sponge that soaks up courses. My life is filled as a full-time volunteer. I've found a wonderful prayer group. Hopefully I'm becoming more compassionate and understanding. There is so much, but perhaps one of the most rewarding things was being guided to this Daily page a year ago; for although I've always written for family and friends, here I've found a place and a purpose for my writing; an editor and minister who tirelessly takes the time to help me understand "that which I'd scorned", so that I don't have to "bear it alone"; and a whole host of wonderful people who offer support and encouragement in their replies.

I think that what is meant in Proverbs 9:10, 11 and 12, is that when we let God direct our lives, the multiplication of days and length of years isn't meant so much to be taken literally as to mean that whatever days and years we have will be fuller and enriched so as to seem more and longer.

Count my blessings? The numbers don't go that high.

Prayer: We give thanks, O Lord, for enriching our lives in ways too numerous to count. We know that even in those times when we are scared, resistant, shy, you are there to say "Keep on". In this, we give you our thanks. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Mary Daniel <marydee@shaw.ca>
Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

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