You are my God, I seek you,
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands and call on your name.
My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast,[a]
and my mouth praises you with joyful lips
when I think of you on my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.
“Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your blessings see what God has done…” I grew up listening to my Nanna constantly singing the hymns and songs of her youth at every opportunity. I can ’hear’ her now singing this song by Johnson Oatman (1897) as she washed the dishes! Like many born at the turn of the 20th century her life had not been an easy one. She was born and bred in the tenements of the East End, raised by her sisters & saw two world wars. Later she had the trauma of the death of her baby at 9 months yet still her cheerfulness and rejoicing in her Lord, whom she personally knew as Saviour and friend, never faltered.
In this Psalm we see David “counting his blessings’ whilst fleeing from Absalom. Having known what it is like to be in the presence of God he longs to return there (v1-2) and despite being in the desert of Judah he uses his ability to list all that God has done for him as a way to remember Gods blessings
Later in life my Nanna experienced failing eyesight and, like David, the loneliness of the ‘watches of the night’ (v6) yet she still clung to her Saviour and felt comfort in him. (v8). When we are in the ‘desert’ is it always easy to ‘count our blessings’? For myself the answer is a definite ‘no’. So why not start a journal and commit to writing a blessing a day (however small) so that when in the ‘desert’ these can be re-read and comfort received.
As we travel through life help us to ‘count our blessings’ as David did in the deserts of Judah. Give us comfort in the shadow of your wings and uphold us in the night when sleep alludes us. Amen.
Ruth Mills is a URC member in Salford
Sign up here to receive these Devotions every day by email