Into Every Life…Day 1

20140501-111630.jpgHappy May Day! Today we begin to look at our blessings. First, what are blessings?

bless-ing noun : 1. a special favor, mercy, or benefit 2. a favor or gift bestowed by God, thereby bringing happiness.

Oh, I like those blessings. Who doesn’t like gifts that bring happiness? These are things that make me feel good. Bring on the good fortune and blessings!

So in what universe are death, disease, and struggles considered blessings? In Matthew 5, Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor, the mourners, the hungry, the persecuted.” Wait! Back up! I don’t want one of those blessings, I want the gifts! I want the happy!

We will begin to really dig into this and what Jesus meant in the coming days but this should begin to shift our thinking. It isn’t the “thing” itself that is the blessing. The blessing, if you choose to accept it will most certainly be found in the aftermath.

In keeping with the theme of “Into every life a little rain must fall,” I believe this could go one of two ways. I could smile, give you a line like, “Everybody wants happiness and nobody wants pain but you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain.” Oh how nice, a little gentle rain to make the flowers grow so just put up your umbrella and wait it out. This too shall pass. I could pat you on the shoulder and continue on my way, so as not to get contaminated by the mess you may find yourself in.

Or, we could get real. The “rain” that I am talking about is when the heavens open up and the sky appears to be falling. It’s when the sirens blare and we hear this warning…

THIS IS AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS SITUATION WITH TORNADO LIKE WIND
SPEEDS EXPECTED. MOBILE HOMES AND HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES ARE
ESPECIALLY SUSCEPTIBLE TO WINDS OF THIS MAGNITUDE AND MAY BE
OVERTURNED. FOR YOUR PROTECTION MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE
LOWEST FLOOR OF YOUR HOME OR BUSINESS. THIS STORM HAS THE POTENTIAL
TO CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY AND SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE TO PROPERTY.

Yep, that’s it.

Let’s get real. Let go of pretenses; let go of the canned answers. Forget what you think I want to hear when I ask, “How are you?” How many times do we plaster fake smiles on, swallow the lump in our throats, and lie through our teeth to people when they ask us that question? Today, for a second, be honest, at least with yourself, and answer that question. Grab a piece of paper and write down the answer if you need to. Drop the barrier between self and emotion and allow yourself to feel how you really are. Are you in the middle of a storm? Are you holding onto something from weeks, or years ago, claiming it as” your cross” and refusing to let it go?

I may not have a clue the extent or extremity of what you are going through but let me assure you that God does and I am not being cliche when I tell you that He can and will heal it if you let Him.

As we move through this I won’t tell you that you need to smile and with a stiff upper lip say “God is in control. Isn’t this wonderful?” I will roll up my sleeves and get dirty and stay in the trenches with anyone as long as they are working towards finding their way out no matter how slowly. If we are going to understand what a true blessing is we have to keep walking, keeping moving forward, keep the faith until the rain clears and we are able to begin to see the Son. (Ok, that may have been a bit cliche but I couldn’t help it.)

So think about it…How are you?

(As a side note, God is in control but life isn’t always wonderful. I have tried the “faking” it method, shoving and swallowing pain, looking for ways to forget it without dealing with it. It doesn’t work well for very long. Pretending isn’t living. We’ll get to that in the coming days too.)

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