Blessed...so easy to say but do we really believe it? Do we really give God the glory or credit when saying we are/were/will be blessed?
Blessings are not simply the result of being lucky, random happenings or even earned. I sometimes need to be gently (or even through a slap alongside the head by my ego) reminded that the source of all things good are from Him, from whom all blessings flow.
June 26th was a good reminder of how quickly we can become so focused on our agenda or the negatives that we miss even noticing the blessings surrounding us.
As I was counting the cash from my team's fundraiser, I found myself selfishly doing the math in my head (for those that know my math skills you are probably laughing). I made a mental note with every stack of $100 that it meant that for each of the 16 members on my team it was only about $5 each. (May I remind you of my limited math skills?) I found myself convicted of my selfishness & my focus. Here I am forgetting about the awesome fun teambuilding time we just had & was hoping we had earned more money from all the work we put into it. I was calculating in my head the value of my time & resources i put into earning my $90 share. A few humbling thoughts then occurred to me: 1. $90 is more than a month's wages for those in Guatemala I am going to serve. 2. I can throw together limitless resources to bail myself out of trouble ( i even have the "luxery" to go into debt/borrow money if I need to make ends meet). 3. I am being given an amazing opportunity to pass this blessing onto someone in greater need & i'm sniveling over wanting more. 4. $1,400 is a lot of money! I should be jumping up & down for our team earning that much!
I decided a little taste of tough work to remind me I am blessed was in order.... i decided i will do something else to raise funds for myself & give my $90 to someone who could use it more without sniveling it wasn't enough......I decided to torture myself by doing something I dislike greatly... a garage sale to help earn the funds I still need for my trip.
God blessed me with the 2nd hotest day of the year to do it even! The sweltering heat was a constant reminder that I am blessed, that I have been provided for abundantly by my Father God and that I have a bunch of extra posessions & things I can get rid of. It reminded me to see the blessings & know they were there regardless of my hard work or not.
The more I relied on God the day of the sale, the more I noticed His blessings upon me. I prayed for a stranger that shared her difficult circumstances with me. I gave away items when it was clear money was tight, I prayed for more customers & they came.... God knows the desires of our hearts, He knows our intentions & motives.... and might I mention He loves us unconditionally, even when we are whiners. I just LOVE My Father God!
Do not be anxious in anything, but by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6
Do you believe in coincidences? What is a coincidence? According to www.dictionary.com the definition a coincidence is: "Striking instance of two or more events at one time apparently by mere chance."
As I was thinking about what I would write I decided prayer would be a good topic. Prayers are definately needed for my team's spiritual, financial, physical & emotional preparation for what will be a life altering experience [Prayer request]. I think of the above verse that I have prayed many times. The verse that reminds me of a dear friend whom is a prayer warrior. A dear friend whom has been a spiritual guide, a woman of God, an encourager & uplifter when I descended into the pits of hell on earth. She is a woman that is stronger than she knows, a woman that has been through more tests & attacks to her faith & clings to God through it all. She is an example of the Godly woman I strive to be.
I find it no coincidence I open my bible to find the page for this verse marked by a card I received over 8 yrs ago from this woman. That this woman represents to me a reminder that prayer [conversation with God] needs to be a constant part of my life. There is no coincidence that all of the "little" & "big" things in life are marked with the loving fingerprint of a God that aches to be entwined in every portion of our lives not just a part of it! As a believer I have to say there is no true coincidences... a better word for the "little instances" would be "blessings" & for the "big instances" would be "miracles". A coincidence occurs when we fail to recognize God's hand in the "instances".
With this statement & belief I am prepared to hear the arguments that God couldn't possibly orchestrate all the minute details of every believers & unbelievers lives. Well, he does! I am also prepared to hear that if God cares so much why do bad things happen & why is there so much evil & suffering in this world? God does not plan these things. He knows they will happen & does have the power & authority to stop it. Take a moment to think of it this way: Perhaps the blessing or miracle in the bad or painful instances is that He allows us our own free will, He allows us our choices, our mistakes and our wrongs to be played out for us or others to learn to rely on Him, to come to know Him or to trust Him. He uses all things for good. "Coincidentally" if we are failing to recognize Him or the potential good in the situation for ourselves, for others witnessing our circumstances & response or for His kingdom we will find ourselves not trusting or not knowing God the way He created us to be.
God doesn't want us to suffer but He allows us to often times for reasons we will never know why during our time here on earth. I do believe for those that proclaim His son Jesus as their savior, they will never ask "why" when we are standing before Him in heaven we will fully know & understand... and to put it bluntly... we will not care "why". For those that do not beleive in Him, when they die they will & stand before satan and for eternity will ask "why", never to know.
I choose to believe in blessings and miracles.
My first Guate-blog-a posting. Hmmmmm where to start? What do I have to say that would be so profound... nothing comes to mind but here are some lyrics that say what I will pray before I lay down to sleep tonight.
I come on my knees
To lay down before you
Bringing all that I am
Longing only to know you
Seeking your face
And not only your hand
I find you embracing me
Just as I am
And I lift these songs
To you and you alone
As I sing to you
In my praises make your home
To my audience of one
You are Father, and you are Son
As your spirit flows free,
Let it find within me
A heart that beats to praise you.
And now just to know you more
Has become my great reward
To see your kingdom come
And your will be done
I only desire to be yours, Lord
So what could I bring
To honor your majesty
What song could I sing
That would move the heart of royalty
And all that I have
Is the life that you've given me
So Lord let me live for you
My song with humility
And Lord as the love song
Of my life is played
I have one desire
To bring glory to your name
.......Big Daddy Weave