By Bryn Rademaker.
Happy summer, y’all! You know what time it is… time for another total Jesus JAM!
So far this summer for me has been one of unexpected adventure and little life lessons from my peers. Traveling around the Midwest for my job as the Bryntern (nickname credits to my incredible boss, Chris), I have had the pleasure of meeting tons of fascinating youth, young adults, and grownups around our Diocese of Superior along with people from out-of-state who each have their own unique personal story. Some have had their lives flipped upside down by God’s beautiful grace only recently, while others were convicted to surrender their lives to the Lord when they were young kiddos. No matter their story, one theme continues to be central to their testimonies: God is good, even through the trials.
A few weeks ago, I hit a lower patch in my life where I wasn’t allowing myself to appreciate the good, beautiful, and faithfulness of God’s grace in my life during some transitional struggles. This affected my ability to share joy with my friends and family as well, and it wasn’t until my boyfriend pointed this out to me. We decided to make a new daily resolution that has awaken my spirits and uplifted me each day: counting every blessing.
Each night during my daily prayer routine, I now look back at my day and reflect on at least 3 blessings from the Lord—“blessings” vary anywhere from a simple moment that puts a smile on my face to a profound experience in which I clearly see the Lord working in my life or in the lives of those around me. Matt and I hold each other accountable to this every single night by sharing these blessings with each other before saying goodnight, a gift I have treasured ever since we started this spiritual resolution. Counting and sharing these daily blessings has helped us see where the Lord is truly present, even when we feel as if the day has escaped us.
It is incredible how much the world desires us to see the negative, draining situations in our lives as strenuous moments with no touch of goodness within them. By bringing to light the ways that God is still good, perfect, and faithful every single day, our perspectives can be totally flipped and our hearts drawn towards gratefulness rather than despair.
“Counting Every Blessing” is this month’s hit by one of my favorite Christian bands, Rend Collective. The band shared this reflection when they first released this song in 2018:
Just because we intellectually KNOW God’s promises, doesn’t mean we always feel them to be true. Counting Every Blessing came from a season of real wrestling with God because we couldn’t see his promises coming to pass. We despaired instead of looking at the signs of His goodness along the way. It’s so easy to give in to looking at what God hasn’t done yet rather than counting the blessings God has already given us.
Relating this song to Abraham’s story in the book of Genesis, Rend Collective shares their motivation for this song’s t-shirt design:
This shirt design was inspired by the story of Abraham and when God took him out to count the stars in the sky, telling him…
‘Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!’
And Abraham, despite his circumstances, trusted and believed that God’s promise would come to pass.
Some of Abraham’s circumstances were ridiculous and almost impossible to find hope in the Lord, especially through the inability of him and his wife to bear children because of their super old age. However trialing his situations, he was still able to look up and count the blessings God has already given him, saying…
“Surely every season you are good to me.”
Now it’s up to you: will you take on this blessed challenge with me and count your blessings? I can assure you that soon you’ll notice there are too many to count. SO GET GOING! 😊
~Rend Collective is a ROCKIN Christian band from Ireland, one I’ve already chosen to write about in previous months. Focusing on their new album Good News, Rend Collective put together this 6th album of theirs in order to connect to their “roots in missional community” (https://rendcollective.com/pages/bio). The bio they wrote on their website shares their motivations and goals for this album, which was to inspire and connect the Christian community united with the commonality of service and witness as a spiritual family. “Writing ‘Counting Every Blessing’ was a personal and vulnerable process for the band. Birthed out of a period of downheartedness, the band made a conscious effort to practice ‘counting blessings’ in lieu of comparison.” Check out the rest of Good News, including songs like “Rescuer (Good News),” “Life Is Beautiful,” and “Resurrection Day.”