A year ago, life took a turn. Let’s just say it was a turn I didn’t want to make and leave it at that.
A wise man I know sent me a poem early on in that year. Something about being called aside. I didn’t want to be called aside.
We closed our business—and waited. We worked in a yard—and waited. We emptied a house—and waited. We watched our bank account empty—and waited.
Many would say it’s been a hard year. If you pressed me, I might agree—for a few seconds.
Earlier this week, when a hint of good news arrived, a friend called it a blessing from God.
He’s not wrong.
Good news—hope for the future—is a blessing from God. It is.
Still, I wonder. Why do we assume only the things we want and desire and then receive from the hand of God are the blessings?
Why not the yard work? Why not closing down the business? Why not the filthy, heavy labor?
I’m not going to argue theology; I won’t break any new ground here. Still, there is one thing I need to say. Well, one thing before I say other things.
God gives good gifts to His children. (Matthew 7:11)
Good gifts aren’t defined as wealth or power, or the good life.
The Teacher sat down on the mountain one day and began with a list of blessings. It is a famous list. Most who are seeking blessings don’t seem to want to consider it in their search. Matthew 5 has the complete list.
At the top of the list? Those who are broken, helpless, and destitute in spiritual resources. Knowing we bring nothing of our own, we are blessed.
The blessing of God is Himself. Himself.
Everything else is peripheral. Anything more is simply icing on the cake.
He blesses in the waiting. He blesses as we labor and as we pray. He blesses as we walk in faith—painfully placing one foot in front of the other.
And, when He answers our prayers, the blessing is no more spectacular than when we walked with Him in the dark.
I would be lying if I told you it’s not good to see the hint of dawn on the horizon. But, in the dark I knew He was there.
I basked in His presence in the dark.
The morning will be no different.
You see, God is good.
Always, He is good.
Here sat Marilla Cuthbert, when she sat at all, slightly distrustful of sunshine, which seemed to her too dancing and irresponsible a thing for a world which was meant to be taken seriously…
(from Anne of Green Gables ~ L.M. Montgomery ~ Canadian author ~ 1874-1942)
Thou art giving and forgiving,
ever blessing, ever blest,
Well-spring of the joy of living,
ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our brother,
all who live in love are thine;
Teach us how to love each other,
lift us to the joy divine.
(from Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee ~ Henry Van Dyke ~ American author/poet ~ 1852-1933)
© Paul Phillips. He’s Taken Leave. 2017. All Rights Reserved.