5You have done great things, YHWH my God,
Your wonders and your thoughts are for our benefit.
None can compare to you.
I would announce them and speak of them,
but there are too many of them. — Psalm 40:5
The pastor gets up in church and asks for blessings, things that God has done for you during the past week. Silence settles on the congregation. There is uncomfortable fidgeting and rustling of bulletins. What shall we say? Do we have any blessings to report? Are we too embarrassed to talk about them?
I’d blame it on our general shyness, except that when the pastor calls for prayer requests, there are usually more than enough to take up the time.
Why are we slow to remember and to proclaim our blessings? The psalmist tells us his problem. He had so many blessings to tell about that he didn’t know where to start? I suspect we’re more likely to find our reason in this list:
- We don’t give God credit for many ordinary good things that happen to us. This is an odd one, because if you think about it, would you like your ordinary blessings to be extraordinary? If you had to go without food for a week, and then God provided some I suspect you’d be willing to proclaim it the next Sunday!
- We’re focused on the negative things that happened during the week. I think this catches most of us. I know it catches me from time to time. I can take all the bad things that have happened, and then spin them into a few really nasty scenarios of what is probably going to happen next. One of the great blessings of my life is that it is very rare that things turn out as badly as I expect!
- We’re afraid other church members will think our blessing is silly. This sometimes keeps us from reporting ordinary blessings. But I suspect there are less church members thinking you’re silly than you think! And besides, if you’re praising the Lord, how much harm can it do for someone to think you’re silly? Mical through David was pretty silly (2 Samuel 6:20-23).
- We’re not that grateful, because we did it ourselves. The problem with trying to get away from acknowledging God’s blessings is that even the power to “do it yourself” comes from God. You can’t get away from God that easily.
- You have stage fright and don’t like to talk in front of people. If this is your problem, why not try a different way of proclaiming blessings. Find just one person and pass your blessing on to them.
God’s blessings truly are too many to count!