In a recent blog post, John Ed Mathison writes: “I heard once about a church from North Carolina that sent a mission team to a leper colony on the Caribbean Island of Tobago. The team met a lot of sad patients afflicted with leprosy. One memorable experience was a worship service they held in the campus chapel.
The lepers came in and took their seats on the pews, and the mission team led them in hymns. The pastor of the group was a man named Jack. He noticed there was one leper on the back row who was facing in the opposite direction. All the rest of the lepers were facing the song leader.
Jack announced, “We have time for one more hymn. Does anyone have a favorite?” About this time the leprous lady on the back row turned around and for the first time faced the song leader. Jack said that it was the most hideous site he had ever seen in a human being. She had no nose or lips. Her head was almost like a skull. When she raised her arm in the air, she had no hand. It was just a nub.
The pastor then said this leprous lady said, “Could we sing ‘Count Your Many Blessings’?” It was at that point the whole mission team experienced something they had never experienced before. Here was a lady, with relatively nothing to be thankful for, asking to sing “Count Your Many Blessings.” At first, they couldn’t even lead the song, and then they sang it with new meaning:
“When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.”
If a leprous lady on the Island of Tobago had as her favorite song “Count Your Many Blessings,” how much more should we not just sing the song, but do what it says?
We can’t count high enough to list all of our blessings.
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