Friday, January 15, 2016

Why I Can Say I Am Blessed ... and It's Not What You Think ....

I realized after reading this that I am very blessed.

Not because I have a house with no mortgage ... plenty of food in the 'fridge ... LOTS of clean clothes (even though I complain many don't fit right).
Not because I have very few health problems ... and my kids are healthy and doing well.
Not because I have a job I love ... that pays me more an hour than most people in the world live off of in a day.
Although all of those things are true ... and they ARE blessings.

But I am blessed because I am daily ... hourly ... almost minute by minute aware of how desperately sinful I am, and of how incapable I am of changing myself ... but I know who does love me ... forgive me ... use me even in my sinful weakness all too often. I'm blessed with grace.
I am blessed because my heart has been shattered ... several times ... and it still hurts so much so often so that I never forget ... but I still glimpse the hope of the One who is working it all together for my good and His glory even though I can't always see that right now. I'm blessed with hope.
I am blessed because I don't command the attention and admiration of thousands, in fact, I'm relatively unnoticed by most ... and yet noticed by the only One who truly matters. I'm blessed with love.

I am blessed because I know what things should look like ... in me ... in my church ... in my world ... and even though they don't look like that, and we all still struggle with the consequences of living the way we want to instead of the way we should ... I know what is true and what things will be like again some day. I am blessed with truth.
I am blessed because I have experienced deep wounds inflicted by others, and although my head still suggests clever ways to "get even" or to "make my point," God has given me a measure of restraint and has used deep wounds to teach me to forgive ... and is still teaching me to forgive. And He reminds me daily of all that for which He has shown me forgiveness. I am blessed to have learned the way of mercy.

I am blessed that I still feel shame when I watch something I shouldn't (even though everyone else says it's OK) ... that I have to go back often to apologize for that wrong thing I said ... that I ache over the horrors in the news feed and know that the things I see and hear that make me wince are to root of those horrors. I am blessed to understand by my many failings and sins that "they" are not the sinners or the problem any more than I am.  I am blessed to know righteousness.
I am blessed to be a people-pleaser ... to hate arguments ... to be one who risks having others come against me so I can help settle a difference between two people I care about. I am blessed to want to be quick to apologize even to someone who has wronged me and isn't sorry. I am blessed to know and to want peace.

I am blessed that I have people in my life who think I have done everything wrong ... even when I was sure it was what God was leading me to do. I am blessed when others think I'm a little weird or extreme because I cling to an outdated ancient religion. I am blessed to know Jesus ... and to continue to have Him show me who He is and how much He loves me every single day.

One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him, and he began to teach them: 
“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs."Matthew 5:1-10

I am blessed ... Even if my blessings don't look like yours .... And even if they don't look like those of other Christians in the world.

And I am thankful that God will continue to bless me, even if it hurts.