It’s another cold day here at the cabin. It started out at about 9 degrees and has warmed up to about 15 at this point. Rumor has it that another snow storm is coming in this afternoon. Oh well, tis the season.
Back to being blessed by God. After reading my last post, Honey told me that I make the blessings of God appear undesirable. Please let me finish the thought before you come to that conclusion. I was afraid that cutting it off too soon was going to leave that impression.
The Scriptures are full of examples of people who were blessed by God. The prophets of the Old Testament were simple men that were chosen by God to deliver His message to the people. To be chosen by God is a great honor and blessing. In being faithful, each of them faced some pretty intense circumstances in their lives. They were ridiculed, chased, threatened, exiled, and hated by the people; merely for being messengers for God. I’m sure that the old adage ‘Don’t shoot the messenger’ was in their thoughts as they stood alone to proclaim the Word of the Lord.
I guess the one person that stands out the most in my mind when I think about being blessed is Mary. Mary was still a child when the angel of the Lord told her that God had chosen her to give birth to the Messiah. What a blessing! She grew up in the teaching that God would one day send a Messiah. She knew that God’s promises were as absolute as the stones in the fields and the stars in the sky. What an honor & privilege to be the one chosen by God to give birth to the Messiah. She endured the birth pains, she shielded Him from the cold, she watched Him take His first steps and she trusted God to guide her as she mothered & nurtured the future King. The Catholics exalt her as being this wise and knowing saint. But in reality, she was simply an innocent girl who believed God. By the time she was probably in her early 50’s, she watched the One that she gave birth to, the One who called her Mama, being tortured and nailed to a cross to die a horrendous death. I’m sure she knew His destiny, but she was a Mama. I suspect that as she watched Him suffer and die, her mind remembered back to the days of His childhood, His sweet smile, His gentle laugh. The pain of watching your child suffer in any form is heartbreaking to a Mama; but for her to watch Him die in ridicule and shame must have been a nightmare beyond anything I can comprehend. Yes, He was God in the flesh – but He was also her son.
But Mary’s story didn’t stop there. She was there when Christ rose from the grave! They were reunited … not as son and mother but as Savior and humble follower. Her blessing at that point was complete.
I guess where I am trying to go with this, is that God blesses each of us in a very special way. To some He gives great wealth, to others He gives talent, and the list can go on & on. But being blessed by God does not mean that He just gives us ‘stuff’ for our benefit and comfort. All that we are, all that we have, is designed to be used for His glory. Let’s look at just a few more examples:
Ester – she was blessed with great beauty. Some would scoff at this blessing, but Ester used that beauty for God’s glory and to protect His people. If you don’t know the story, please take a few minutes to look it up.
Deborah – she was blessed with great courage. She used that courage for God’s glory and helped lead His people into battle. Her story can be found in Judges Chapter 4.
Samson – he was blessed with great strength. His story is well known. He was only human, like each of us. But in the end, he returned to God and used that blessing for God’s glory.
All of the examples given to us in the Bible were of real people, just as average as you and me. What made them stand out as special was the fact that they recognized the blessings from God and chose to use them for God’s glory. Saints, you have been blessed. And God has even greater blessings to give to you – but are you ready to use those blessings for God’s glory? Or are you still holding on to the selfish idea that God’s blessings are designed merely for your ease and comfort?
Do you have a comfortable home? How well does your car work? Look around you. If you can read this … you have been blessed. Are you ready to go to the next step in walking with God? Do you hunger for a deeper relationship with Him? Then take some time to evaluate all the ways that He has blessed you, and prayerfully give it all back to Him. Great rewards often come only after great struggles.
Let me leave you with one final thought:
Jesus was the Beloved Son of God, yet he was born into a meager lifestyle. During His adult life, He never had a home of His own, He never married nor had children, He was tormented by the religious leaders, and He died the most horrendous death known to man. Yes He was God in the flesh … but He still had all the feelings, emotions, and temptations that we have.
I have a feeling that this is only the beginning of the lesson for me. I think that God is about to take me to the next step as I learn to let go and give everything to Him. When you ask for God's blessing, do you really mean it? If so, are you ready to be blessed?
Have a wonderful day, and may the Lord bless you.