Originally published Wednesday, 23 December 2015.
I tried my best. I put my whole heart into it.
I sought God and followed him.
I didn't give up despite the big barriers.
I kept my focus and kept going...
Only to hit hard times.
Ever noticed, how when you give your all,
all of a sudden, you somehow start to believe -
God should give his all too?
Silently, longingly and righteously you start to say things like:
"I did my part. Now, you better do yours."
"You helped me through. Now bring me all the way."
"You are giving me this? I have done good by you."
Somehow, I believe my following, trusting and abiding with him DESERVES some sort of sundae with a cherry on top (don't miss the hot fudge, God) - from him. That is the sticking point.
God's blessings are not dictated by our demands.
God's blessings are always good, but not always easy.
God's blessings are given and not demanded.
God's blessings are unearned and, often, unexpected.
Perhaps, God doesn't always payback hard work,
because he wants to payout the better gift.
Think of Mary.
Just a young girl, did she ever expect an angel to visit her from high? Likely not. Blessing.
Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. Lu. 1:30
Might she have thought having a baby, unwedded, was more of a curse than a blessing? Perhaps, but again it was a blessing.
You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. Lu. 1:31
Might she have been let down by the fact that ultimately Jesus was less great and more humble? He was a King nailed up against a cross. Still - a blessing.
He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High...his kingdom will never end. Lu. 1:32
What we see as unusual, unwanted and often unwarranted -
are often unknown blessings in the process of being baked to done.
Done to the point where:
- Things spiritual are cemented forever. Jesus reigns over earthly forever.
- Wars are won as people are pressed against difficult. Jesus proclaims it is finished - man will be saved from themselves.
- Things of darkness are trampled on. Jesus put everything underneath his feet; he stands above it all.
- Lives are saved. The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Mt. 20:28
- God is glorified. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, Father, into my hands I commend my spirit. Mt. 23:46
- You are changed. Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. 1 Jo. 2:6
Blessings can look like nails. They can also feel like crosses being carried. Yet, at the end of the day, what springs forth from the winter of cold agony is the warmth of new Spring - overflowing with Christ's majesty and strength.
The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty; The LORD has clothed and girded Himself with strength; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved. Ps. 93:1
The cross was an unusual, often unwanted and unwarranted (for a perfect lamb), but it was a blessing that would change the tides of the earth forever.
As Mary's love was being nailed to the cross, as he cried out as and as she likely wondered why it all had to lead to this - she was being blessed.
What seems to be nailing you? Might it actually be blessing you?
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