By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector
God has blessed me with a wonderful wife for almost 36 years. Joyce always has been a wonderful support and encouragement to me over the years. But she also knows the meaning of “tough love.”
I recently had some heart-related health issues that were serious enough to send me to the emergency room. As a result, I have been making some lifestyle changes, particularly as it relates to what I eat.
In other words, I’m on a diet. Instead of being grateful to be alive I’ve been moaning about what I can’t eat. No bacon, no cheese, no pizza, no processed foods — basically not anything that has a lot of sodium (salt). And, if you check food labels on a regular basis, you know it’s not easy to find much of anything not loaded with salt.
And, in addition to that, the day after I returned home from the hospital I came down with gout and could barely walk for several days.
Finally, my griping and “woe is me” attitude pushed Joyce (probably one of the most patient people in the world) over the limit and she reminded me in a not so gentle way of how blessed I was. I couldn’t defend myself because she was 100 percent correct.
Sometimes, we get so caught up in what we can’t have or can’t do and fail to focus on what we can do or have. After some repenting (to God) and apologizing (to Joyce) I’ve been working really hard on my attitude.
I wake up each day now and just say to myself, “This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.” It has been amazing how that thought has made such a difference.
I look at people I know who have far more serious issues to deal with than I do and I realize I am blessed far more than I deserve. The aches and pains and the issues related to my heart are minor when compared to people I know who can’t even get out of bed each day or who have lost their spouse and have to deal with loneliness as a constant companion.
The next time you feel woeful and depressed, remember the first verse of the classic hymn “Count Your Blessings.”
“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.”
We’re all going to have bad days on occasions, but count your blessings. They’re there no matter what your circumstances.