Counting Blessings Instead of Complaints

by April Newbell

After recently losing my husband, I thought about all the things I would now miss doing with him. I complained about the plans and dreams that would never come to fruition. Then, it occurred to me that I was focused only on the negative.

While complaining about my loss, I wasn’t able to see all the blessings we had shared, like twenty-seven years of marriage, and having sold our business to retire three months earlier. I wasn’t thinking about our time spent together during those final months—just the two of us enjoying life without outside distractions. God already knew what was coming so He gave us that precious time together.

We can’t hold both complaints and blessings in the same hand.

Don’t we all complain about things—not just big ones but little ones too? And we forget about the blessings? We complain that it’s too hot or it’s too cold; there’s too much rain or we need rain; we’re hungry (or if you’re like me, you’re hangry) or we’re stuffed. In doing so, we may fail to see how blessed we are with ways to control the temperature in our homes or water the lawn when needed. We may not appreciate the food we have to eat. Not everyone is this blessed. We might spend more time counting complaints than blessings.

We aren’t the only ones guilty of that. The children of Israel did a lot of complaining too, even after God sent Moses to rescue them out of the hands of the Egyptians. They seemed to quickly forget that they had been delivered from their 430 years of bondage in Egypt.

And the people of Israel also wept again and said, Oh that we had meat to eat!We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.” Numbers 11:4-6 ESV

The children of Israel forgot that God had brought them out of oppression. They forgot how God saved them from Pharaoh and the Egyptian army at the parting of the Red Sea. They forgot all the promises of God to bring them into a land overflowing with milk and honey.

It’s easy to read about the children of Israel and shake our heads at their actions. Yet we are not so different. Modern times but the same attitude of complaining.

Instead, may we dwell on God’s promises and His blessings.

Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life. Philippians 2:14–16 ESV

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: April Newbell is a retired office manager for a family medicine office and an aspiring writer. She has previously published two devotionals on She enjoys writing devotions to which everyone can relate and apply to their lives. April and her husband, along with their dog, live in Huntsville, Alabama.

Join the conversation: What blessings are you thankful for today?

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