Friday, July 10, 2015

More or Less Blessed

Blessed is one of those words we just seem to throw around, particularly when good things are happening. Got a new job? Surely, you are blessed. Pregnant? Blessings! Found that you've had just enough, or perhaps a little more, this month? God has certainly blessed you. 

But what about when things don't go your way? What about when you lose your job? When infertility reigns? When you came up just a little short? Are you suddenly...less blessed? Or worse? Are you now cursed?

It's one of those things I think we struggle to understand, and primarily, that's a result of our own self-centeredness. Our ego. Our individualistic culture that tells us everything is about us. 

The truth about blessing is that it's not situation-dependent. That is, it has nothing to do with you or anything that may - or may not - be going on in your life. Whatever blessing rests on you is God's doing, not yours. It's His grace, not yours. It's His measure, not yours. And so it's not really about whether you have enough or not enough. Whether you get what you want or don't get what you want.

Have you considered how blessed you are even when things are not going your way? Can you stop for a minute to fathom that?

What's striking about this is that it must, so far as I understand, be comprehended in reverse. We truly come to understand blessing in a contrast of seasons, when we go from feeling the presence of God in our lack first to feeling the presence of God in our abundance. When we go from bad days where all we're doing is hanging on to the smallest glimmer of hope that God really does exist to the good days where we could never deny it. When you go from these times where God is all you have to times where you seem to have the presence of God in spades, you so often quietly realize that today is not really so different from yesterday. 

You're neither more nor less blessed. 

Of course, God can remove His blessing in accordance with your disobedience. If you turn your back on Him, He'll let you. If you shake His hand off your shoulder, He won't force it back. But that's not really what I'm talking about. 

This is an exercise in perspective. It's the discipline of understanding God's consistency. His ever-presentness. It's a refusal to reduce God to the measure of this world and start holding Him to the standard of the holy place where, in the presence of the living God, we understand that He really is the same yesterday and today and forever.

So what about the good things? What about when life is going well? What about those days that still feel more blessed than so many other days?

We can't get caught up thinking these days are more holy than the others. Every day is holy. We can't get caught up thinking God loves us more on these days than on other days. God loves us, wholeheartedly, every day. We can't get caught up thinking God is less busy on these days or more interested on these days or more involved on these days. God is the same every day. 

What these good days are, more than a reflection on God's present state of being (which is always nothing more and nothing less than I Am), are invitations. They are invitations to rejoice, which is something we don't get to do nearly enough.

Amid the hustle and bustle, the trials and triumphs, the business and busyness, it's easy to get distracted by just living our blessed lives. These days that seem so much better than the other days, these days are reminders to stop for a minute and celebrate. Shout. Smile. Dance. Remember the Lord's faithfulness. Remember His goodness. Remember His grace. And rejoice in how very much He loves you. 

These days...they're not really unlike any others. You're no more blessed today than on any other day. You were no less blessed yesterday. You will be no less blessed tomorrow or ten years from now. You are always simply blessed.

For the Lord Himself has blessed you. 


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