Time to count our blessings

My ministry “day job” is to give leadership to my church fellowship’s national disaster response. In this role with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, I interact with our churches, other churches and faith-groups, NGO’s and voluntary organizations active in disasters. I have just returned from Oklahoma where not only did I see the devastation, we had to seek shelter from another one while I was there.

Recently my wife and I moved into a new home. We all are aware that when you do, you spend weeks (no months!) doing “things.” Things like installing blinds, hanging pictures, arranging (and re-arranging) furniture, etc. I began a task that I had put off as long as I could—installing towel racks and toilet paper holders. You know the drill — measure twice cut (or in this case “drill”) once. I pride myself in being pretty savvy at these things, so I venture in with all of my wisdom and expertise. Well, the very first towel ring over the sink in the guest bathroom created for me my dilemma. I failed to look at the diagram correctly and see that the holes should be vertical, nor horizontal.

That’s right! An unnecessary 3/16” hole on the bathroom wall! I quickly determined that I could use one, mark another in the correct location and continue. But there was this hole staring at me. I began to fume, religiously of course, at myself and get disgusted at my error and that I had to do the job anyway. I was flustered that I was having to concern myself with putting these things up.

Then, I heard a voice inside of me (really, I did!) say, “At least you have a wall to mount one on.”

Oh boy! That does it; humbled to my core. There I was distraught over a silly 3/16” hole in the wall and I knew of people who only wished there home was still standing. How could I be so caught up in my own little world?

We all do this from time to time. We get so caught up in our own little problems and fail to see the larger, more brilliant picture God has put out before us. The old hymn “Count Your Many Blessings” comes to mind and I do need to stop, even right now, and do that.

Tommy Deal

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About the Author
Tommy is the husband of Rev. Susan Deal, Minister of Music at First Baptist Church Dalton, Georgia. Together they have survived 30 years of being a ministry couple and have raised and launched two sons who are ministers in churches in Kansas and North Carolina. Tommy is a consultant and coach with congregations and clergy with Pinnacle Leadership Associates and coordinates disaster response with Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Georgia churches. Tommy has served as a public safety chaplain of fire departments and police departments in communities in which they have lived, and has been trained as a fire fighter and emergency medical responder.

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