I know. You probably expected me to use the Bible as my “B” entry, but since the Bible will be a running theme through much of my posts, that seemed redundant so blessings it is.
Remember when we were kids (or even now) and you would look up to the sky and see the first star of the evening and make a wish? Or wander into an antique shop or flea market and see some crazy looking bottle and rub it as you walked by, silently hoping that you were the one lucky person to find the actual bottle with the genie in it?? Come on. You know you’ve either done it or totally would if the opportunity presented itself.
The problem is that this clearly isn’t the way blessings work because otherwise all of us would be rich, healthy, and that zit would never appear on the end of your nose when you needed to make that key presentation at work or go on that date you feel like you’ve been waiting your entire life for.
Sadly, though, it seems that a lot of people expect blessings to work the same way. I have often heard Christians quote Philippians 4:19 when speaking about blessings.This passage begins, “And my God will meet all your needs…” and this is where they stop because if they don’t, it doesn’t actually say what they want it to say so, heck, let’s take this little piece of the verse out of context and I can prove to you that God is just sitting up on His throne waiting to give me everything I want to make me happy.
But here’s the thing.
The passage says far more in a just few words than most of us wish it did. It goes on to say, “…according to the riches of his glory in Chris Jesus.” (http://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/bible-verses-about-blessings/).
In other words, God will meet your needs – or provide blessings to you – if the things you are praying for are what God has designed not only for you, but for the world around you.
I know. If you are a Christian, you may well be screaming at the screen things like, “But my God loves me! He’s a good and kind God and wants all good things for me – the Bible says so!” And I would agree that these things are true, but not exactly in the way we often look at them. This life and all that is in it isn’t, as i will say a million times, not about me or you. God did not create this world for me.
Now, yes. I truly believe that God did create me and He does know the number of hairs on my head and knows my needs and desires before I could ever express them, but my life here and this world around me isn’t about ME – its about me growing in wisdom, knowledge and understanding of God.
Let me explain.
Suppose if you are driving to work one day and there is a multi-car accident in which several people are injured and one person is killed. Now, our immediate response is that the blessing in this situation is that you weren’t the person killed – and sure, that is a wonderful thing for you and your family for this earthly existence. But is that really a “blessing”?
I would venture to say no, and here’s why.
If blessings exist and they are truly provided to us from God, then wouldn’t it make sense that their purpose isn’t to make our earthly existence more pleasant – though sometimes this is a result of them – but rather to move each of us further toward whatever a spiritual goal that God has designed for us?
Take for example the accident referenced above. If the blessing was that you were spared, to me the purpose for your survival would be much greater than just so that your family didn’t have to grieve your loss. Rather, the blessing may lie in the fact that because you were spared, you could help others who were more severely injured or traumatized than you were or that you were able to pray with the person who died prior to their death providing them peace in their passing and in doing one or both of these things, you were able to be a light to the Kingdom of God and bring others to a greater knowledge of Him.
In other words, the blessing isn’t about you but about the bigger goal of God’s Kingdom.
For example, I live not far from Columbine High School school and knew people who were intimately connected to those who were either teachers or students at that school at the time of the shooting. I remember clearly where I was at the time this occurred and how my community was shaken as a result.
But what I remember even more clearly was watching the news that first night and for several nights thereafter and hearing people praying and praising God on our local news channels – something I had never heard before or since. To me, what I witnessed was people who might otherwise not have turned to faith hungrily reaching out for God and finding Him.
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that God caused the shooting to happen or that the loss of life is insignificant. Nor am I saying that blessings only occur in the wake of tragedy. I know for a fact that there are many small things in our lives on a daily basis that are designed to refocus our attention on Him and these things are blessings – but they are blessings because they focus our attention on Him, not because they made our day easier or brought a smile to our face.
Do you see the difference? It may seem small, but it is so very important.
Blessings are about being able to see or at least participate in a much greater plan that, when complete, will lead us to places so wonderful we are probably incapable from our human perspective to even fathom them.
So try with me, if you would, to look at the blessings that come into your life from a bigger perspective; tell
me how seeing that bright red flower sitting atop the snow on an otherwise dreary day turned your heart to God and how that changed the way you dealt with your screaming kids, thus changing their lives. Or tell me how, when you had to wait in the endless line at Starbucks for your latte that would help get you through your morning, you noticed the man in front of you fighting tears and you were able to speak with him or pray with him or maybe just make him smile thus lessening his burden for just a moment.
Tell me of your blessings.
I can’t wait to hear them!