Most mornings I eat breakfast alone. My wife is awake, and usually makes the coffee, but because I head out shortly after 7:00 my children are usually either just getting up or are not up yet. But as I am getting my breakfast ready I almost always pour my coffee into a mug that says “Greatly Blessed.” It is a tremendous way for me to start my day…a much needed reminder that I am, in fact, greatly blessed.
The words on the mug come from a song written by Bill Gaither and Larry Gatlin. It is a simple song, a bit repetitious actually, but the words are valuable reminders of who I am and what I have to be thankful for.
The chorus, for example, goes like this:
Greatly blessed, highly favored
Imperfect but forgiven child of God
It repeats that line twice. But the truth in those two simple lines is powerful. I am imperfect (believe me!) but I am also forgiven. That in an of itself is an incredible blessing and would be worth getting excited about all by itself.
But look at these words from the verse:
Standing upright, on God’s good earth
I’m counting my blessings, great things He has done
I’m fighting the good fight
With the blessed assurance
That the battle is already won
The second line always reminds me of one of the great hymns we sung often in the churches I grew up in: Count Your Blessings. That song includes the line, “Count your many blessings/name them one by one/and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.” I don’t think the hymn writer means that we will be surprised by what God has done in the sense that we did not expect He could do it so much as we will be surprised, when we really stop and think about it, how much God has done. In other words, when we slow down enough to pay attention to all the ways in which we have been blessed, and continue to receive God’s blessing every day, we will be surprised. Surprised primarily because we will likely have to say, “Wow! I hadn’t even realized/thought about that!”
But the Gaither/Gatlin song continues wit the reference to fighting the good fight. We are, of course, fighting a spiritual battle here on earth, and Paul himself references having fought the good fight. What a blessing it is to know that the battle has already been won! There is an old Southern Gospel song written by Roger Bennett that says, “I’ve read the back of the book, and we win!” Praise God! The battle, and more importantly, the war has been won! Christ died, but He rose again, and in so doing He conquered death, hell and Satan. We will continue to struggle and battle in this life until the Lord returns or calls us home, but, to quote another Gaither song, “we can face uncertain days because He lives.”
I am greatly blessed!