July 24, 2007

bless me Father

Posted in mousie at 8:29 am by Anonymouse

I read a blog yesterday that talked a little bit about blessings that kind of got me thinking.  My paraphrase interpretation of what the blogger said is:

“Blessing” is a word that Christians use to explain away the good things that happen to them when in reality good things and bad things just happen without any master plan or puppetteer.

Now, I can’t even recall what blog I read this on as it was one I’ve never read before, but keep in mind that the above is the interpretation that I took away from it.  Irregardless of whether or not I completely misunderstood the intent of the post, this whole thing got me thinking about blessings.

Coincidentally (I think not), I’m in the process of memorizing the Sermon on the Mount with my accountability group.  For those unfamiliar, the Sermon on the Mount (starting in Matthew 5) starts with the Beatitudes (which means “Blessings” by the way):

Matthew 5:3-12 (NIV)

 3“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
      for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 4Blessed are those who mourn,
      for they will be comforted.
 5Blessed are the meek,
      for they will inherit the earth.
 6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
      for they will be filled.
 7Blessed are the merciful,
      for they will be shown mercy.
 8Blessed are the pure in heart,
      for they will see God.
 9Blessed are the peacemakers,
      for they will be called sons of God.
 10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
      for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 11“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

This sounds pretty crazy.  Blessed are those who mourn? those who are persecuted?  Blessed are you when people insult you?  Persecute you?  Falsely say all kinds of evil against you?  Rejoice and be glad?  Seriously.

Well, in all logic, the above questions can be answered by spiritual, eternal blessings.  Big mansions in heaven, lots of jewels in the crown, etc.  I don’t know about you, but as great as heaven must be, sometimes I wonder if I would really care if I had the smallest mansion, dullest crown, dingiest angel wings.  Before I start getting condemned by people stronger in their faith than me, don’t worry – I know that’s not the point of all of this heaven stuff and I was kidding about the angel wings.

Romans 15 talks about spiritual blessings and material blessings, so I don’t feel like I’m off the hook chalking up material/earthly things to the Big Cheese.  I have a question about these earthly blessings though:

Is a blessing always something that seems good?  For example, the whole “Blessing in Disguise” mantra we like to use?  A lot of the dictionary definitions of “blessing” link it to happiness, etc. but God doesn’t promise us happiness and doesn’t want us to be happy like I think most of us would like to believe.  Personally, I don’t think God gives a rip about our happiness.  Contentment and joy are things the Bible addresses, but happiness is not.

On that same note, obviously the freshest “big” things for me are the occurrences of my miscarriages.  Are these blessings?  I see some blessings in them – timing showing God’s omnipotence, a renewed awe of God and his creation, a chance to really experience the peace that only assurance in Christ can provide, etc.  But is losing babies a blessing?  Do we have a skewed definition of what a blessing truly is that doesn’t allow us to give merit to God and His timing, plan, etc?

Are we to see everything in life as either blessing or curse or is there more wiggle room where some things just are what they are? 

 I know there are promises in the Bible of blessings we can claim.  I know that I can be 100% positive that when I mourn, I will be comforted because Jesus said that I would be.  I know from James that if I persevere in a trial that I will become mature from it.  I can add faith into the pot and claim those and lots and lots of others.  So, maybe I start there and trust that as I continue down this path, some of the other questions will be answered.

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