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Counting blessings, growing talents

Recently, one sister in Christ has been sharing with us snapshots of her journal. In the journal, she draws the places she visits, food she eats and people she meets and fellowships with, as well as verses she comes across in her quiet time that speak to her. Though they might be simple sketches of food and buildings with captions and verses, we can sense her thankfulness for the things God gives her each day — the blessings and joy in simple things God gives, and the blessing she can be to others. When she shares the snapshot, she also shares her life with us and an encouragement for us to recall the blessings we have in our own lives.

This really makes me pause and think, ‘Where did today go?’ God blessed us with the food at our table — did I say grace out of habit or because I meant it? Did I check in on someone in need, and the people God put in my life? If I were to journal about today, would I have things to pen down?

It is currently a busy period at work for me. I can feel the stress and anxiety. I am not sure if I should use the next hour for Project A or Project B. I’m so tempted to say, ‘There is no time, I’m too tired.’ But not having time is not a good excuse. God is the giver or our time. If the first thing we do when we wake up in the morning is to check for missed messages on our phones, then why can’t the first thing we do be a prayer to the Lord? Time always there — we must make an intentional effort to make time, to reflect or to journal our life.

Reflection is an important part of our life, because only then can we see the small and big blessings that line the big-ticket items of our life, our weaknesses and where our dependency on God is needed.

Last Sunday, I was listening to the sermon by Pastor Luwin about the parable of the Ten Minas in Luke 19:

“When he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business” (Luke 19:15)

It suddenly occurred to me: What if today, the Lord were to ask me, “What have you done with the Talents I have given you?” Would I be able to reply, “I have multiplied them a hundred-fold,” or would I find myself trying to hide from the Lord because I have nothing to show him? Is my daily life a blank piece of paper? Did I just waste today and let it pass by?

Last week sermon’s reflection question was, “There is a danger that the self-sufficiency that we strive so hard for on earth might blind us spiritually to our dependency on the Father and make it hard for us to receive the kingdom. In what ways is it true for you today?” This brings us to the question: What daily reflection can we do to see God’s hand at work, his blessing in our lives and our dependency on Him? Or are we only concerned about our performance review at work and praises from men?

Counting blessings and growing talents go hand in hand. When we have a grateful heart, we serve with joy. The third servant in the parable said that the nobleman was a severe man, and he was afraid, so he hid his mina in a handkerchief. Our heart state governs the way we behave. Therefore, we should guard our hearts.

May the sharing of our daily lives be an encouragement to one another, and may we not allow the temptation of the busyness of life rob us of time to count our blessings and grow our talents, as we grow in faith and walk with the Lord.

- Dns Justina Ng

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