Our husband gets a promotion at work…We say we’re so blessed.
Our teenager receives a long-awaited college acceptance letter….We say we’re so blessed.
Our aging parent hears good news from their doctor…We say our family is so blessed.
Our friend safely delivers a healthy baby…We say she’s so blessed.
Our fellow church member successfully recovers from a car accident…We say they’re so blessed.
And while yes, promotions, acceptance letters, good news from the doctor, healthy babies, and successful recoveries can all most definitely be beautiful blessings – gifts received directly from our Father who gives.
What about the family who faces job loss…
…the teenager who is rejected by their college of choice…
…the aging parent who hears they’re terminal…
…the friend who leaves the maternity ward with empty arms and a broken heart…
…the fellow church member who is killed in a car accident?
What about these people?
Have they not been blessed?
You see, sometimes I wonder about our requirements for feeling blessed – We pray that our children will be safe…that our homes will be protected…that our bellies (and our garages) will be full…that our hearts will never know pain and suffering…and it seems that oftentimes we declare that we’ve been blessed only in those moments when we feel happy…when everything is going our way…when life is rolling along smoothly…according to our plans…when our hearts are not hurting…when our bodies do not feel broken…when we feel like we have everything we’ve requested from God….
…but our perspective is so skewed. We have to remember that while yes, God is the Father who gives, He is also the Father who takes away, and while we love to receive from Him what we consider to be good gifts, having things withheld or stripped away doesn’t always feel like such a blessing. Loss hurts. Change can be difficult. We struggle to see the blessing in that kind of earthly pain, and in many situations, we are incapable of understanding the why. As humans, we have such a temporal view…of everything….but this is where faith comes in…this is where we are given the opportunity to trust.
We see the here and now. God sees eternity. We feel our pain and suffering. God sees the moment when all things will be made new. We feel heartache and despair. God stands ready to gift us with hope…Hope that there is so much more than THIS!
When have I gone deeper in my faith walk? Not in the moments when life seemed easy…but in the moments when a loved one was on the brink of total disaster…when my heart was grieving the loss of a friend…when my dreams were crushed. Those have been the times in my life when I have specifically known the nearness of my Savior and a deepening of my awareness of Him in my day-to-day.
He promised us that in this life we would face difficulties and pain – When these things come our way, we should not be surprised…and we can not feel as if we have in some way been wronged…or that we have wronged Him. Even in our darkest moments, we can proclaim that we have been blessed. Why? Because there is so much more than the loss and rejection and pain and sickness and despair and sadness of this life.
Eternity awaits us, my friends…and while we may not know many specific details of what lies beyond this world, I am so thankful that we can know for a fact that all of the things we struggle with and worry about it and hurt over in this life will be no more…and we will spend eternity with THE ONE…the One who is the only sure thing that we can ever know in this life and beyond – Jesus, our Savior. We have Him, and THAT is what it really means to be blessed.
In my life right now, God is teaching me that He is good…He is always good. He is holding me…He does not abandon. He is faithful…even when it seems like everything beneath my feet feels unsteady. When I feel anxious, He eagerly gifts me with His peace. He is with me…and I am loved by Him…always. He will never leave and His love never fails. I have been made in His image, and because of that, I am highly favored.
I am so thankful for those unwavering truths! I am overwhelmingly grateful that even through the most difficult circumstances and the most tragic situations, His heart is for us…and He will not fail us. We can trust His promises. We can trust His heart. We can step out of the way and relinquish our false feelings of control – We can stand ready to receive what He has for us acknowledging that He is God and we are not and that His plans are perfect and ours are incredibly flawed.
Is this blind trust a crutch? A sign of weakness? No, friends…it is His strength in us…what a gift…what a blessing!
He is good…He has been so good to me…and I will proclaim that ’til my final breath.
We’ll give thanks to You
For lessons learned in how to trust in You
That we are blessed beyond what we could ever dream
In abundance or in need