THE WORD-OF-THE-WEEK: BLESSED
Some people use the word blessed to indicate comfort, financial success, etc. This is simply wrong. Having our desires met does not mean we have been favored by God in some special way.
Church history is full of stories about beautiful and holy men and women who suffered outrageous physical and emotional pain but who considered themselves blessed, because they were sharing in the sufferings of Jesus and the presence of God. Many saints lived in poverty but felt blessed because they were poor, as Jesus was poor.
So, if being blessed is not about our circumstances, what is it about? It’s about our attitude, our spiritual state. For example, when my mother died, a number of people came up to me at the funeral to say, “Don’t cry – your mother is with our Lord in heaven.” My response: “I’m not crying for her, I’m crying for me. Because I’ll miss my mother.” Now, don’t get me wrong – I also felt blessed in that moment, because I do know my mother is in heaven, and I know that I am loved by God and God was with me in that moment. Remember, tears are not the result of a lack of faith but an abundance of love.
Often, when folks say they’ve been “blessed,” they really mean circumstances have occurred that make them happy. Back to the experience of disaster: Certainly, the person who was spared is blessed, but so is the person who lost everything. They may not be happy – because earthly happiness means our circumstances prompted an emotion. Don’t confuse happy and blessed – I would suggest that when you and I say that we are blessed, we should be referring to our inner state. That is, we should be referring to our conviction that we are loved by God, and that, whatever our circumstances or situations, we are confident that God is present and provides grace.
This has given me strength and comfort in adversity – I hope it does for you.
Enjoy another day in God’s presence.