How would you define “blessings”? The dictionary defines “blessing” as:
- the act or words of a person who blesses
- a special favor, mercy, or benefit
- a gift bestowed by God that brings happiness
- the invoking of God’s favor upon a person
- a prayer said before a meal
Generally, blessings are thought of by most as those good things that come our way in life. Things like health, prosperity, opportunity, happiness, good fortune, etc. We say “God bless you” when we want things to go well for people.
Here is the challenge:
- Is God blessing us when adversity is bearing down upon us and our lives are filled with loss and difficult circumstances?
If the answer is yes, then we need a new definition of blessings that better fits with reality. I believe the blessings of God are often disguised in packaging that doesn’t look very bright and shiny.
Many times throughout my ordeal of brokenness, pain and suffering the “inner” reality I’ve experienced has been one of a profound and unexplainable peace and joy that can only be explained as a gift from God and a blessing. I’ve also been blessed with a deepening of relationships, a stronger faith and opportunities to help people I would not have met had this not happened.
There are many unanswered questions about how God works in times of trouble and suffering. I sometimes wonder what is going on when my own pain seems to never end or I see others suffer intense pain and loss. I continue to need words of hope to help me think and experience more deeply how to cope with the unexplainable.
A message of hope was sung for me this week – the song called Blessings by Laura Story. It is a prayer with a ring of truth that ponders the deeper meaning of blessings.
[To listen to a youtube version, click here]
We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things
‘Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise
We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe
When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not our home
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise
Now, how would you define blessings? What changed?
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