By Warren B. Smith
A number of traditional hymns speak of our many blessings in Christ. Count Your Blessings reminds us that even in our darkest moments we can rejoice and count our blessings:
When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
In his book Then Sings My Soul, Robert Morgan recounts how Howard Rutledge, a captured American soldier in Vietnam, was able to help conquer the loneliness and despair of his long captivity by recalling hymns from childhood. The following is a quote from Rutledge's own book, In the Presence of Mine Enemies, describing how he suddenly remembered lines from the hymn There Shall Be Showers of Blessing during a heavy monsoon rainstorm:
I tried desperately to recall . . . gospel choruses from childhood, and hymns we sang in church. The first three dozen songs were relatively easy. Every day I would try to recall another verse or a new song. One night there was a huge thunderstorm—it was the season of the monsoon rains—and a bolt of lightening knocked out the lights and plunged the entire prison into darkness. I had been going over hymn tunes in my mind and stopped to lie down and sleep when the rains began to fall. The darkened prison echoed with wave after wave of water. Suddenly I was humming my thirty-seventh song, one I had entirely forgotten since childhood.
Showers of blessing,
Showers of blessing we need!
Mercy drops round us are falling,
But for the showers we plead.
There Shall Be Showers of Blessing was inspired by words spoken by the Lord through the prophet Ezekiel when He said how He would cause showers of blessing to rain down on His people:
Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle. And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it. And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods. And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing. (Ezekiel 34:22-26)