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Is that a blessing-blocker?

It was Eric Hoffer who reminded us: "The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings." These are indeed good words, for we oftentimes forget about our blessings until they are taken from us, or no longer are appreciated in our lives. We cannot escape God's blessings - they are inherent in serving him. We can, and oftentimes do forget them, though. For the most part, it isn't that we want to forget them, but that we become complacent with them. We don't recount them enough and this leads to us almost taking them for granted. It would be a good exercise for each of us to regularly and quite deliberately taking inventory of the many ways God blesses us each day.

Training your body helps you in some ways, but serving God helps you in every way by bringing you blessings in this life and in the future life, too. (I Timothy 4:8)

The more we 'train' our bodies, the more our bodies are able to do for us, right? The more we train our minds, the more we are able to do with our minds. The more we recognize our emotions, the more aware we are of when we are responding emotionally in a circumstance. If these things all hold true in our lives, then it makes perfect sense that the more we focus on serving God with our whole being, the more we will begin to be surrounded by and immersed in his blessings. Yet, that doesn't always mean we take notice of them, does it? We actually have to stop, breathe in and out a bit, and actually 'notice' what is around us, within us, and being done for us.

Did you know there are things that actually serve to 'block' the blessings of God in our lives? Maybe you didn't realize it, but things like bitterness and the unwillingness to forgive another act as 'blockers' to God's blessings. Things like envy and high-minded pride get in the way of us receiving all the blessings we could receive. There are indeed 'blessing blockers' we need to be aware of in our lives - but we may not even see these 'blockers' until we recognize we aren't really seeing the blessings of God as we used to. Whenever we let things creep in that act as blocking agents to seeing and appreciating God's blessings in our lives, we might not even realize we aren't enjoying those blessings anymore.

Part of athletic training - the training of one's body - is to remove barriers to getting our body into shape. For example, if we are eating poorly, with all manner of 'empty calorie' intake, our bodies won't be in as good of shape as if we changed our intake. So, athletic training involves modifying our diet in order to give our body the nutrients it needs in order to be at peak performance. We may not appreciate the value of a little pain as we are working to become 'athletically fit', but the more we push a little beyond the initial pain, we begin to see changes in our physical body. The same holds true in the sense of our spiritual man - it requires us to remove barriers in order to grow and mature. 

God's blessings are all around us, but we may not see them very clearly. Perhaps some of those blessings we had once known so well are now not as evident in our lives. Maybe it is time to look at things that could be 'blocking' us receiving those blessings or being aware of them in our lives. The things that block our blessings are not usually on God's side - they are usually on ours! Just sayin!

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