I’m now willing to admit that there was a time in my life that I did not believe in God’s blessings for me. So much was being stripped away and I was becoming less and less. I didn’t see Him doing anything except struggle.
I saw blessings around me. I saw healthy babies being born to friends and I saw people simply happy and they didn’t seem to have a care in the world.
I really thought, “God blesses others, but not me. I’m the one left in the dust.”
I would sit and watch friends welcome new healthy, full term, beautiful perfect children in the world and I would seethe with jealousy. Why couldn’t I have their kid? They weren’t going back and forth to the hospital at night or welcoming strangers into their house for therapy. They weren’t burying their child far too early and trying to hold it all together.
I was jealous and I was envious. There were days I’d sit and let that eat and eat and eat at me. Then there were days where I’d welcome friends into the house and say, “Ooooooooo!!!! I am SO THRILLED for you!!!! How exciting and what a gorgeous baby!!!!” I would even throw in the happy squeal. I’m a good faker.
My point is two fold. One, there was a lot of sin, pain, anger, jealousy, hostility and envy in my heart. I’m not saying that I was right at all. In fact, I was on a path of destruction really. Two, I had a misrepresentation of what blessings were.
I grew up in a Pentecostal background where folks favorite thing to say was, “Blessings on you!” “You are so blessed!” “Jesus blesses you all the time!” These were always phrases after someone said that they received something for free. That their car was divinely fixed. They got a job that was incredible. Someone was amazingly healed. These ARE amazing gifts and wonderful and yes, I guess they ARE blessings, but I also equated blessings as things that people had and received. Tangible objects. Car, job, good health, clothes, food etc.
What I think is that we fail to see is Jesus’ blessings when it looks like we have none.
I should say though, before I continue, that during this time, we weren’t destitute. We weren’t living on the streets, but financially we were tighter then tight. Jesus met our physical needs, but so many times I was feeling like He was so far away. Not seeing that my heart needed A LOT of help.
I started to think about this. How is Jesus blessing me, because I clearly didn’t see it. I saw it around me, but not for me specifically. I struggled with this for a really long time. I mulled over what a blessing was. What our Christian interpretation was and how I thought that that was so greedy almost of us. That somehow we deserve something or Jesus loves us more and that’s why we were “blessed” with the new car. And how the blessings we kept talking about was stuff and not heart changes.
One day, I took a step back and I thought, “Ok, what does this mean? I need to get out of this hole and figure something out.”
I stripped away my theology. Everything I’d been taught and I went to the basics. What did I believe? I believe in Jesus. I believe He was born of a virgin and died for me and rose again. I believe I’m His that I’m going to go to heaven. That was it really. Everything else was just going to have to fall into place.
I held on to that. Jesus died for ME. I AM His. That was the biggest blessing ever? Isn’t it? Isn’t that HOPE? His blood was spilled for me and for you. Because I didn’t have the things or people that I wanted or the way I wanted them did not mean that I was not blessed. It simply meant that I was living life. That’s it. Life.
Because I love Jesus didn’t mean I was going to be protected or sheltered for pain. It simply meant I was living life and that I could Bless the Lord, because He gave His life for me. That’s it.
Stuff is momentary happiness. Eternal life is eternal happiness and hope.
I feel like I can now say with confidence, “Bless the Lord, oh my soul. I’ll bless His name not matter what life is or looks like or what I have or don’t have. Simply being His is blessing enough.” I may cry in pain in the future because of life’s hardness, but it does not take away Jesus’ blessing of life or His goodness, and I can worship Him through whatever is thrown my way.