Count Your Many Blessings

How difficult it is for most of us to realize how very wonderfully blessed we are! How easy it is to grumble and complain and to think that those around us are far better off than we are!

As a young man growing up on a small rented farm during the depression years, it was impossible for me to realize how blessed I was.

I can’t remember ever going to bed hungry. My mother could always prepare a delicious meal. I can’t remember a time I did not have warm clothes to wear. True, they were often homemade by the loving hands of my mother and some of them had patches on top of patches, but they were constantly washed and ironed. Of course, I thought store-bought clothes were far better. I can’t remember when we did not have a warm fire during the cold winter months.

My school lunch was wrapped in newspaper. I knew how to wrap it so it would not come apart even if it was thrown.

As I look back, I am amazed to recall that I was ashamed of my lunch and would often go around behind the school building and eat alone. I was ashamed of my mother’s big homemade country ham and biscuits. To me this was a sign of real poverty. Sometimes I swapped with someone for a dry peanut butter sandwich.

Today, my conscience stings when I think of how blind I was. How could I have been so stupid? I was rich and did not know it.

Toward the end of my father’s life, he said to me, “Son, I’m sorry that I was never able to give you what I wanted you to have. Your mother and I regret that we gave you so little when you were growing up.”

Oh God, please forgive me for being so blind and so ungrateful during those early years. Please forgive me for my inability to see how richly blessed I was and for never helping my parents to know what a great heritage they left their children.

C.W. Bradley


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