There is a pervasive and dangerous image in our culture that blessings come in the form of: health, fame, awards, wealth, huge houses, fancy cars, nice clothes, etc… A first class life, rather than a ‘coach’ existence. But is that really a blessed life? What if blessings arrive in the midst of a storm, laughter through tears, or simply a downfall of tears? What if blessings arrive in the midst of pain, sickness, danger, loss, sorrow, suffering?
Laura Story has a beautiful and amazing song called Blessings. If you haven’t seen the video or heard the son, click on the link.
In my own life, the days of comfort have not produced gratitude as much as the dark, lonely moments. The times when I have felt ‘blessed’ according to our culture’s standards have not made me feel closer to God. But the days of loss and pain, when my husband lost his job, when my father passed away, those nights of loneliness when I was single, weeks and months of fear for my unborn child, those painful times produced a deep need in me, which drew me close to the only One who could help–God. It was in the midst of the storms of life when I felt His peace, not the peace this world provides through plenty.
Earlier this month, once again I found myself in the midst of a personal trial. We were on vacation in France, and my husband became very ill. If you’re my Facebook friend, then you probably followed along and prayed for us, and we so appreciated every prayer! He was admitted to a hospital in a small town in France, where few spoke English, and I spoke little French. The rest of my family returned home, but my husband and I were in France, feeling alone and uncertain. Yet, that is where we experienced so many blessings: the comfort and peace that only comes from God, the kindness of strangers, the love and prayers from so many family and friends. It was actually a sweet time, that week spent in Vernon, France, and I am grateful to our God who walked beside us and carried us through that fear; I am grateful to the strangers who offered help; I am grateful to friends and family who reached out from thousands of miles away to pray and to help. Oh the blessings we experienced!
I hope this post doesn’t make you think I don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ during good times, because I definitely do! But that relationship goes to a whole new level during difficult times. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14: 26-28 Have you experienced similar blessings? What does the word ‘blessings’ mean to you?