I’ve been hearing it a lot lately. People who are blessed and the reasons why.
They got the promotion, so they’re blessed. They closed on the house, so they’re blessed. They met the man of their dreams, so now they’re beyond blessed.
Recently a friend told me his life had turned out exactly as he imagined it would. He had everything he ever wanted. He was so blessed.
How then should we feel if our lives haven’t turned out exactly as we imagined? What should our heart response be when we don’t seem to be beyond blessed or even a little blessed?
A blessing is defined as a special favor, mercy, or benefit. The word blessed is described as consecrated, sacred, holy, and sanctified, worthy of adoration, reverence, or worship.
While it’s true that we always have something to be grateful for, I think blessing came to us long before we got everything we never knew we always wanted.
Being blessed is never tied to something or someone we’re hoping for. I think we need to stop waiting for answered prayers and start seeing ourselves as already blessed. Because we are.
I recently spent some time in the book of Romans. Five days to be exact. It’s only 10 paragraphs long, but I found myself pausing many times along the way when I realized where my blessings have been all along and why it’s ok when things on the surface of my life don’t appear blessed.
When I Don’t Fit In
It’s hard to feel blessed when you’re different. My work looks different. My family looks different. My life looks very different. Different isn’t a bad thing, but it’s very easy to be overlooked and excluded when what you bring to the table is worlds away from what others think it should be. Romans talks about the Holy Spirit bringing us our adoption and testifying that we are God’s children. This makes us co-heirs with Christ. We’re not just accepted and ushered in the back door. We’re given a seat at the head table. We are deeply valued by the One who created the universe. It’s not about what I bring to the table. I am loved by the person who built the table!
Sometimes I don’t have the words. When I’m talking to God, I want him to take me seriously. I want him to know I mean business and that I won’t go down without a fight. But sometimes, I have no fight left. When I don’t know what to say, even to God, I feel like a failure. And that doesn’t make me feel blessed. Romans tells us that when we don’t even have words to say, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us with wordless groans. I have someone approaching God on my behalf for everything I need. And he doesn’t even need words.
When I Don’t Know How it Will Work Out
The last few years have been confusing to say the least. I don’t have a clear sense of what I’m doing or where I’m headed – in so many areas of my life. When I can’t see the path in front of me and there is no real sense of order in my life, I don’t feel blessed, I feel like a mess. Romans talks about God working all things together for the good of those who love him. But there’s more. (I love when there’s more). It’s also those who have been called according to his purpose. Those he foreknew, he also predestined. This means we have all been called for a reason. There are no accidents with God. To have the foreknowledge to predestine someone for a purpose takes a lot of care. This was well thought out. Which means you were well thought out.
Having someone to go through life with is one of life’s greatest joys. But when you travel on this journey alone, it can leave you feeling unwanted and unloved. Life without love doesn’t feel very blessed. Like any great love story, Romans ends with a love that conquers all. It reminds us that when God was considering the cost of making us his, he didn’t even think to spare his own son. Nothing and no one was too high a price. Christ Jesus died for us, but more than that (I love when there’s more), was raised to life. He did more than pay our ransom. He went a step further and came back to be with us so we wouldn’t be alone. So we wouldn’t just have a story about something nice someone we’ve never met did once to save us. We would have him.
Who can separate us from a love like that? We’ve been adopted and included. We have someone to speak on our behalf when we don’t know what to say. We were well thought out and predestined for a purpose. Most of all we are loved. Beyond a shadow of a doubt or the seal on a grave. We are loved not by someone who fought an army, but by someone who defeated death itself. After all of this, is there anything that can stop him from fitting all the jagged-edged pieces of my life together? Am I not already blessed?
Nothing in my life so far has turned out like I thought it would. Not. One. Thing. But I carry with me always the ultimate blessing.
My cup runneth over.