“Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest” (Psalm 85:11-12).

John Henry Jowett claimed that he found “forget-me-nots in many a rutty road and wild roses behind a barricade of nettles.” Many of us see little, but the rutty road in this fallen world. When we keep staring at the ruts in the road, we miss the forget-me-nots. When we avoid the nettles that sting us, we miss the wild roses. Jowett urges us to look in the dark patches of life for “tokens of the Lord’s presence.” He mentions that poet, Francis Ridley Havergal, keeps a “journal of mercies.” She crowded it with her remembrances of God’s goodness. She was always on the lookout for tokens of the Lord’s grace and bounty, and she found them everywhere. Many a complaining life would be changed into music and song by a ”journal of mercies.” We read of prisoners in solitary cells, thankful for the visits of a spider to relieve their boredom. We hear of starving African children who, when water and a little food arrives, shout, “Now we have everything! Now we have everything!”

Despite disappointments and shortfalls, most of us have enough for our needs. We can say with gratitude, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24). Instead of keeping our eyes on the rutty road, we can be thankful. “Mercies abound on every hand,” Jowett proclaims. “Count your blessings.”

Adapted from The One Year Book of Encouragement