Friday, January 2, 2015

What blessing?

I’ve been thinking a lot about blessings lately. “Blessed.” I hear it all the time. “Johnny got a new bike? He’s blessed! You have a couple of kids? You’re blessed! Promotion? Marriage? Great friends? Blessed, blessed, blessed!  Are we all blessed? Why? What makes us blessed? If someone doesn’t have those things, are they not as blessed? These are the things I was pondering while making tacos for dinner. I even stopped to wipe my hands with the kitchen towel to look up the definition on my phone. It read, “highly favored or fortunate (as by divine grace). I let that definition sink in as I chopped my tomatoes and grated the cheese. “Blessed.” I think to myself how blessed I am when I see my boys piled high in hugs and love. Then there are other times when I’m cleaning poop off remote control car controllers and breaking up fights… I don’t feel so blessed then. So, which is it? Are blessings only for good times and good attitudes? Is life a light switch of blessings and curses?

Every New Year’s Day, no matter the year, I always relive 2010. Receiving that terrible phone call, looking into Brandon’s deer-in-headlights-eyes. Feeling numb and helpless I hear him tell me in no good way, “Your brother Mike, died.” I heard it, but I didn’t hear it. I couldn’t process those words. I just took it in and mentally went to another place where I wouldn’t let myself feel. It was supposed to be a new year. It was supposed to be full of potential, energy, high hopes… not tragedy. He left behind four young kids, a wife, family and friends that loved and adored him. It was the saddest thing to think about.

A month later, my mother got diagnosed with breast cancer. She would need to have a mastectomy. The following month I had a miscarriage. To say the least, it was a rough start to 2010. That year I wrestled with a lot. The hardest was watching my mom and dad deal with the grief of losing their son. How they would sit around reliving his childhood, breaking out the old pictures, remembering all the stories: funny, ridiculous, scary. Raw unfiltered emotions flying… it was a year of tears, change, new normals, and rolling with the punches.

I had to know, what was considered a blessing in God’s perspective? Are we still blessed when we go through hard times? When I came across Matthew 5, it hit me like a ton of bricks… 

He is our blessing and if He lives in us, we will always be blessed no matter what happens in this life.

3“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    For they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    For they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    For they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    For they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    For they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    For they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
    For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Were we blessed back in 2010? We were and have always been blessed. Circumstances don’t dictate that. Why the tragedies? Why the heartaches? I don’t know. What I do know is that God knows the whole picture. I have to ask myself, “Which way am I going to look at this?” Through my eyes? Through his children’s eyes? How about through Mike’s eyes? Well, Mike is in heaven. I’m certain his life now is infinitely better than the life he had here on earth. All of a sudden depending on which way I looked at the same situation, there it was… a blessing peeking through. Choosing to look at it through God’s eyes it’s clear that there’s always a blessing. What about the rest of us? God blesses us too. He promises to comfort us but most of all He promises us eternal life. Hope, faith, trust, assurance. This is our blessing.

This life that we live now is just a blink of an eye compared to eternity. He’s created us to live a life of blessing; to help us remember we’re blessed and to empower us to bless others. He created us to seek the truth and put it into practice to stand for what’s right. He blesses us in so many ways we couldn’t number them if we tried. There’s the blessing of children, great job, clean running water, warm clothes, nutritious food… the list is endless. But like Luke 11:28 says in reference to someone blessing Jesus’ mother Mary, He responds,“…More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” So, in light of Jesus’ words urging us to hear the word of God and keep it, let’s live in the light of His blessing no matter what may come our way this year.

The times when life is terribly sad. When the grief is too much to bear. Even in moments like these, the blessing is not the tragedy… the blessing is in the perspective, in our hope in Christ. Believing that He is all-knowing, all-powerful, all-good. He is our hero and rescuer. Our love. He is the only One who can take the ashes we experience and somehow turn it into beauty.

Today is the first day of a new year, a year filled with mystery to us. God holds this year in the palm of His hands. Whatever may happen there is nothing that can occur that will take away the blessing we have always and forever. No one can snatch us out of our Father’s hand. What greater promise is there?

Lord, help us to look at life the way you look at life. Help us to be the salt, the light, the change. When others see the way we handle life, let them see your wisdom, grace, mercy and truth. Amen.

Have a BLESSED New Year my friends.

1 comment:

  1. Prissy, you are so gifted, this was so well put and eloquent! We are BLESSED! Love you!