Count Your Blessings

“REED” This


Count Your Blessings


Last week I made a whirlwind trip to collect some things from my mother’s house in northern Arkansas. I then delivered some to my brother’s house and mother’s assisted living apartment, both in the Dallas, Texas area before bringing the things I kept for myself back home. I drove a total of 2,441 miles in 41 hours, being on the road Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with packing/loading/unloading on Tuesday and Thursday. Like I said, it was a whirlwind trip. Since my siblings all elected me as “Family Historian”, I came home with all the old pictures and documents to go through. Sunday night I came across a letter my father had written that my siblings and I had never seen. I would like to share it with you. As you read it, you’ll understand why I am so blessed to have had the earthly father I was given. From the wording, he wrote this in late 1985 or early 1986.


“Late last summer, I began a journey, a journey that brought me very near the valley of death. After months of mysterious abdominal symptoms that progressively grew worse, I was hospitalized in Texarkana for comprehensive tests. A CAT scan of my abdomen revealed massive tumors, the source of my ever-increasing pain. Surgery was scheduled and my wife and I hoped for the best, not knowing the extent of the tumors or the type involved. There was hope that they might not be malignant and much of the mass could be removed, even though the scan indicated a possible metastasis to the liver.

You can imagine my disappointment and anger when I awoke in the surgical intensive care unit to find that it definitely was a malignance and none of it could be removed. It had completely blocked my left kidney and was expanding to place great pressure on my right kidney, bladder, abdominal aorta and vena cava (large blood vessels of the abdomen). The metastasis to the liver was about an inch in diameter. Other metastases were to be found, in the ensuing days, in the lymph nodes between my lungs, in my neck and under my scalp. Other than a small section for a biopsy, no tumor tissue was removed due to the probability of massive bleeding. At that moment, dying on the surgeon’s table from excessive hemorrhage was a very attractive alternative to the slow deterioration and subsequent death of the usual cancer patient. I knew there would be no cessation of the pain, which required heavy narcotics to relieve.

Sensing my bitter reaction to my situation, my wife left me to call my pastor for his help in calming my spirit. Left to myself, I began examining my life. I was 46 years old, the father of five beautiful children and two grandchildren. I had suffered very little illness and my wife and children had all been very healthy. I had known Jesus as my Savior since I was nine years old, and had been active in Baptist churches all my life. All my children were Christians. I was a well-respected Chiropractor in my community. I had really enjoyed life and had many more reasons to be thankful. If this was to be the end of my life, I certainly had no reason to complain! I began to praise God for each of the blessings He brought to mind. My spirit calmed and all bitterness, anger and disappointment subsided. The pastor and a friend arrived to find that God had changed my attitude and gently led me to praise Him!”

[Dr. Jack Allen Reed]


The hymn “Count Your Blessings” quickly came to my mind as I read the last part of this letter. This change of attitude and calming of his spirit gave my father the strength and fortitude to endure the chemotherapy he would take for the final months of his life. Because of his faith in Jesus, he knew his pain would not last forever. Early on the morning of February 28, 1987 he was pain free and saw Jesus face to face and began experiencing the greatest blessing ever – eternal life in heaven with his Savior.


“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.” Ephesians 1:3 NLT

“Let them praise the Lord for His great love and for the wonderful things He has done for them.” Psalm 107:31 NLT

“Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things He does for me.” Psalm 103:2


May we each heed the hymnist’s: “Count your blessings, name them one by one.”


Bro. Paul Reed


Tuesday, April 27, 2021