Hard Blessings

What do you think of when you think of the word blessing? Goodness, abundance, grace, protection…These are the words that come to mind when I think of it. I was raised to always seek God and the good things He has in store for me. I’ve lived a pretty decent life and with that, I made the assumption that the blessings of God would cover me from the hard things in life. I wouldn’t have verbalized that, but in my heart, that is what I believed. Now to be sure, I’ve avoided disasters by making good life choices, but as we all know, there are some things beyond our control.

Several years ago a series of deaths took place in my life that totally rocked my world. Within 6 months there were 4 deaths that took place among friends and family. Every time I would start to feel like I could get up in the morning without the dark clouds, I would get another phone call…my safe blessed world had been shattered. Everyone who passed away were all dedicated Christ followers. I felt vulnerable, and unsafe in this world I had just opened my eyes to. This isn’t supposed to happen to me. I shouldn’t have to go through that kind of trauma. Where was God, my protector, the one who knew I loved him and did what was right. Was I not blessed, aka protected from the bad things in life.

I had equated blessings with material gain, comfort and all things warm and fuzzy. That is apart of God’s grace towards us, but it is not the total picture. Many times blessings are made available or amplified in times of need. God lead and prospered a whole group of slaves and made them into a mighty nation that still exist today! The ethical structures that governed them as a distinct people has influenced many nations including our own. Most importantly, it was through this people that God sent the world their savior. All this is against the back drop that for 400 years they were slaves in the great nation of Egypt. For 400 years they were considered subservient and less than human, yet they were blessed…

What Does It Mean To Be Blessed?

Where is the blessing in 400 years of slavery? Where is the blessing in being crucified for others crimes? Where is the blessing in losing those you know and love in quick succession?

God showers His mercies on those who follow Him and those who do not, because He loves freely, so there is a difference between one who has received a blessing and one who is blessed. The title or adjective of blessed has more to do with the one it is in association with and that is God Himself. To be blessed is to be bestowed holiness &, prosperity, etc. Not just prosperous in material possessions but in goodness, love, patience, joy, etc. To truly be blessed is to be in relationship with the God of it all.

Jesus tells us, blessed are those who are poor in spirit, who morn, are meek, who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be satisfied…We live in a fallen world, but God is sovereign. He can take ashes and create something beautiful. He can take a people in slavery and show them how to treat others in ways that only 400 years could of done. He can take the corrupt foolishness of the world upon Himself and make it the back drop for the greatest show of love this world has ever known. He can see His daughter in a lot of pain and say if you will just trust and abide in me, I promise you will make it through and on the other side you will have a greater empathy for others and a greater trust in me.

Many times we want our blessings to come easy and on our terms and call ourselves blessed. Oftentimes, the greatest blessings from God comes through the rough and tumble refinement of life. But those who are truly blessed find their satisfaction, their joy, their peace in Him even in the midst of life’s greatest struggles. For we trust that there will be a day when we see Him face to face and we will see the one whom our heart has longed for and truly be blessed.

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