I hope you are all having an incredible week so far! I’m just gonna jump in because my thoughts are everywhere right now! Today might get a little DEEP….
So, today I was getting ready to post this picture with the caption “God is so Good! We are so blessed!” -nothing wrong with that caption right? We see those posts everywhere, all the time! I’ve made them myself numerous times. However, in this moment, the Holy Spirit gave me pause. My mind started running through the lyrics of a song that recently jumped to the top of my playlist
when a dear friend asked me to sing it at her wedding. The lyrics are this: “When it’s dark and it’s cold and I can’t feel my soul, You are good. When the world has gone gray and the rain’s here to stay, You are STILL good.” God is ALWAYS good. In our struggle with insecurities, in our depression, anxiety, daily battles with kids, the overwhelming sadness that comes with loss, the unanswered questions that come with tragedy, in the feeling we get that our head is barely above water from day to day stresses… in ALL of that, God is STILL GOOD. So, why is it so much harder for me to see and say that in the days and the moments that I struggle? I became aware of the source of that confusion, at least for myself, when I looked down at the statement I had typed out on my screen. “I am so blessed.” I realized that I am guilty, probably more than most, of looking at the things and people around me when I count my blessings. Let’s be real. I’m a good enough Christian to know not to look at material possessions (sarcasm implied). So, I look at my children, my husband who loves me in a way that is far more than I deserve, my family and my church. I look to my ability to worship freely without fear of severe repercussions… these are my blessings, right? This is where the conflicted feeling was creeping in for me. Maybe this is NOT accurate, or at least not entirely comprehensive. I looked up the definition for the word blessing and got this: Blessing- A thing conducive to happiness or welfare.
OK! That makes sense. That is how I define it in my head. However, I was then confronted with the question that this is the world’s definition of blessing, but how would scripture define this word?
There are a lot of verses in Matthew and Psalms that would imply that the word blessing is associated with a sense of happiness. However, in these examples- the beatitudes for instance- these blessings still seem to be referring to a spiritual happiness that is found when we find our purpose and strength in Christ. I made a quick phone call to close friend and pastor who encouraged me to read Ephesians chapter 1. (READ IT, you will be glad you did!) So, after reading this, it all came together in this super enlightened “aha” moment for me. (if you hear the hallelujah chorus being sung in the background as you read this—that’s about how it happened for me too😊 ) THIS is where God defines His blessing for His people. God’s blessings in my life are tied to a spiritual sense of joy and security, which is found in the Hope I am given through my eternal security, NOT in my circumstances or earthly surroundings. It’s His grace, scripture says, literally abiding in my past, present, and future. It’s knowing that despite my daily struggle to overcome the things that occupy my mind, I am forgiven and saved by the blood of Christ for the endless times that I have failed and for the times I will surely fail again in the future. His blessings overflow, even if I were to lose all those people and comforts I listed earlier, because of the peace God gives me through the promises of His word. My human mind is kind of blown in this moment. I have a hard time fully grasping this biblical concept. The idea that each time I say, “I am so blessed” it should NOT be in connection with my fleeting circumstances and certainly not with my worldly feelings. I could lose everyone I love, and I would still be BLESSED. Those blessings, that term that I sometimes use without much thought behind it, are constant, never affected by what’s going on around me.
Hmm… now I’m not sure what to do with this epiphany I have had. How do I live in this? What does this look like? Being thankful is a good thing, right? The obvious answer is “Yes!” Yet I am suddenly aware that when I wrongly view things the way I have, connecting my happiness to my sense of being blessed, I start subconsciously making a connection between my children, my family, my church and so on, to some type of reward God is giving me for my devotion to Him. Which again, falls into the worldly definition of this word. In that line of thinking, when I lose those
things, as I have in the past, it’s much easier to get stuck in the “Why Me?” trap. Why is this happening to me God? Why did my Dad and both of my sisters have to die? Why did we have to lose our son? Why can’t I get pregnant? Why are the bills piling up when we are working so hard? Why do I have to deal with depression and anxiety? Why won’t these insecurities go away? When, really, if I am living in the truth of this conviction the questions should be “Why NOT me?”
God doesn’t promise us anywhere in scripture that as believers we are going to be immune to trials, tragedy or struggles. In fact, most of scripture would imply the opposite. As we grow more in our Faith the enemy wants us to stop sharing about Him, to be shutdown. So, again, I’m asking myself “Why NOT me?” I am no different than anyone else and shouldn’t expect to avoid the difficult things that can and will come my way. Instead, out of this conviction I had today, I’m going to try to make my prayer one that desires to glorify God in ALL circumstances. As I type this, I KNOW I will fail at this. I know I will still struggle with living in this reality all the time. But by putting this post up today I’m challenging myself (and any of you believers reading this) to strive to be here as often as is humanly possible. God IS SO good! AND I am BLESSED. I will continue to post that. I will continue to be grateful for the people He has placed in my life, for the ones He has given me to love and to nurture, but I hope to give a much larger percentage of my focus and energy to recognizing God’s spiritual and eternal blessings. I want to always be actively aware that He is faithful and forever good through all the difficult moments that come with each day, and with each trail that I face. In fact, the biggest blessing I could speak to now is simply knowing that when faced with any situation, even ones that feel impossible to survive; in those times where every emotion being felt is raw- hurting so much that it becomes a physical pain, in THAT dark place, His GOODNESS AND BLESSINGS REMAIN CONSTANT. (mic drop?!?)
I’m going to pray that I will not get bogged down in the lie that leads us to believe when things are hard, we must be doing something wrong. I will pray the same for all of you as well! Let’s try to be that encouragement for each other, which we will all need as our sinful nature wars with the Spirit, and we momentarily lose sight of this. Let’s commit to reminding each other to turn to Him and turn to the promises we have so clear in scripture. Remind the ones you love who struggle, to trust that it will ALL be to HIS glory in the end. Let’s remember to also have grace with each other, and with ourselves, in the times when it takes more prayer and more time than just stating these words and truths to actually be able to come to a place of peace. There is ALWAYS a light at the end of every tunnel, and we are blessed BECAUSE of this light.
Comment below and let me know if this is something you have ever thought or struggled with! I would love to hear from you