We read about a writer getting a book contract and we say, “What a blessing!” And the writer who’s still waiting wonders….
We see smiling parents with healthy children and big houses and we say, “What a blessing!” And the mother struggling with the medical bills wonders….
Here in America, blessing is usually synonymous with good fortune. Whether that be money or health or success or popularity or beauty or (fill in the blank). We think if good things happen to us, then God must be blessing us. Which is fine and might even be true. But for every definition we construct, there’s an unspoken opposite that simmers beneath it.
If blessed means fertility, then the infertile woman isn’t blessed.
If blessed means publishing success, then the unpublised author isn’t blessed.
If blessed means health and prosperity, then the unhealty and poor aren’t blessed.
And if we’re not blessed, we must be doing something wrong. Somehow we’re missing the point. God’s not pleased with us. Maybe even upset with us. We’re undeserving….less loved.
Then Jesus opens his mouth and He says…
“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 satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven….”
Wow. Rejoice and be glad.
Because it’s the hard stuff that removes our hope from this shifting world and pins it on an unchanging God. It’s the hard stuff that brings us to our knees and draws us close to Him. And drawing close to Him…..wow. What a blessing.
Let’s Talk: Do you go through periods in life where you don’t feel blessed? Do you equate good fortune with blessing? If you could pull up a chair with God and ask Him what it means to be blessed, what do you think He’d say?