The cabin is surrounded by about a foot of new snow from the last snowstorm. We survived it pretty well. Praise God! The temperatures have been steadily dropping; but so far, it’s bearable. Honey has heard so many rumors about when layoffs may or may not happen. I figure that it will be like last time, he’ll make that last delivery and be told not to come back until spring. I am a creature of habit and the uncertainty of tomorrow could be unsettling. But, I have got such a peace about all of this. God is in control. I am learning to let Him lead us one step at a time, without worry or complaining. I still get a little anxious, but I just talk to Him about my cares and put my hands to the tasks He has given me today.
During the past few days, I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be blessed by God. When you ask for God’s blessings – are you truly prepared to be blessed? This is what I’ve come up with so far…
How many times have you prayed for God’s blessings for a friend or loved one? Or like many of us, silently pleaded for God to pour out a little of His blessings on you? This started rattling around in my head the other morning as I was asking for God to bless my husband as he was leaving for work.
In looking back through the Bible we are given example after example of the people that God had blessed in one form or another.
Moses – born into poverty, yet was adopted into royalty. OK, now that’s a blessing most can understand. While living the life of a prince, he watched ‘his people’ mistreated and abused by the very establishment that cloaked him in fine linens and placed exotic foods at his table. To some, that alone would be torture. In rising up against that unfairness, he was driven into the wilderness by the consequences of his ‘justice’. We all know God sent him back into Egypt to lead his people to freedom. From that point on, he spent the rest of his days wandering through the wilderness with all those folks whining & complaining day in and day out. His blessing was the opportunity to serve God and help free his people. But somehow I think he had days where the blessing felt almost like a curse.
Solomon – was given the choice of blessings. He chose wisdom. In addition to great wisdom, he was blessed with wealth and power beyond our imagination. Now that’s what we hope for when we pray for God’s blessing! Take note: he also wrote the book of Ecclesiastes … beginning with
Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever … there is no new thing under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:2-9)
These don’t appear to be the words of a happy man. At the end of the book of Ecclesiastes we learn that Solomon figured it all out,
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)
Jesus spoke of Solomon when talking to his disciples, “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” (Matthew 6:29) Solomon truly did receive the blessing of wisdom, but with all those wives and concubines, one has to wonder if he didn’t have frequent lapses in judgment.
Zacharias & Elisabeth, parents of John the Baptist – Every parent dreams of having a child that God would single out and use. It is such a heady thing to go out into the community and have everyone know that ‘your child’ was chosen by God to serve a mighty purpose. Zacharias was an important man in the church; Elisabeth was barren and too old to conceive. Yet, they were blessed by God. Their son was chosen to be the front runner for Jesus … an awesome responsibility and blessing; but I’ve often wondered what Zacharias & Elisabeth thought about their blessing when he grew to be a man in the wilderness, eating locus & wild honey. As they went about the community, among the ‘church folk’, do you think they may have wanted to slide into the shadows of obscurity at least occasionally? It’s not easy being the parent of a child that thinks and acts outside the norm. Do you wonder if Zacharias & Elisabeth ever turned to each other and said, ‘He takes after your side of the family’?
I hate cutting things off in the middle, but I’m out of time. I want to explore this thinking further over the next few days. God has really been teaching me so much about what it means to be blessed by Him.
Have a wonderful night, and may the Lord bless you.