The Blessings Jar
By Carol Bevel of Amarillo, TX, USA
You who fear the LORD, praise him!
All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him;
stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
For he did not despise or abhor
the affliction of the afflicted;
he did not hide his face from me,
but heard when I cried to him….
The poor shall eat and be satisfied;
those who seek him shall praise the LORD.
May your hearts live forever!
All the ends of the earth shall remember
and turn to the LORD;
and all the families of the nations
shall worship before him.
For dominion belongs to the LORD,
and he rules over the nations….
Posterity will serve him;
future generations will be told about the Lord,
and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn,
saying that he has done it. -Psalm 22:23-24, 26-28, 30-31 NRSV
As I think on the Blessings Jar that I received last year as a New Year’s gift from my secret pal at work, I remember many times that I have been blessed. Even though I have not followed the instructions to put something in the jar every day, it has helped me be aware of the blessings I receive daily.
I have received many messages from my Heavenly Father through the years. And most of them have the same message: “I am with you even when you can’t see me.” One stands out in my memory.
Several years ago I injured my back and was in so much pain I was considering surgery. One particularly bad morning while on my way to work, I was listening to an interview on the Christian radio station about a mission trip on which a person experienced many healings. As I was crying out to God, asking why I couldn’t be healed and why I had to endure this pain, my eyes began to focus on power poles along the highway. They were the old kind, the ones that looked like crosses.
As I drove alongside them, I noticed as I got closer to downtown they became more obscured and harder to see. God let me know that, just like those poles, God is with me throughout my day, bringing energy and power, even when we do not see God. My pain is now much better, and I am managing it well.
Knowing why God heals some and not others is one of life’s most challenging questions. This experience showed me that I have a journey of my own. As long as I maintain my relationship with God, I can get through anything.
I dwell in your presence.
Prayer of Examen
Spend a few moments recalling your day. Let details, events, and conversations drift through your memory. Offer gratitude for the day and pray to be aware of how God was present. What did you notice or feel that brought meaning? Pay attention to moments when you felt least in harmony with God’s vision for creation. Offer a prayer of confession. Pay attention to moments when you felt most in harmony with God’s vision for creation. Pray to be even more aware of and responsive to God’s presence in the days ahead. Amen.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.