Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What Does Faith Look Like - Embracing Blessings

After a week like the last one – it is hard to not be in a good mood with hope for the future.  I think I will be even more in that state of mind when my husband gets home (hopefully Saturday!)  We were truly blessed with the Lord's intervention last week and after a conversation with my sweet friend Gindi, I was reminded that I have struggled with how to accept God's blessings before. 

It's not because I don’t believe God blesses His children.  I do.  Scripture and the testimony of the countless faithful have shown He blesses us for obedience.  Sometimes He blesses us just because He feels like it - that's part of His grace.  Jesus said if we bless our children, as imperfect as we are, how much more likely is God, Our Perfect Father, to do it?  (Matthew 7:11, Luke 11:11-13)  

I know God blesses us, that's not my issue.  Even if it is not the way I envision or in the timing I want, I know He gives wonderful gifts.  My struggle with blessings happens when I am in the midst of being blessed, as strange as that might sound.  In the middle of my wonder and gratefulness for His gifts, I find my heart goes in one of two directions:
  1. I start to give myself credit for what God has given; or
  2. I start waiting for the other shoe to drop.
I won’t say I’ve grown out of choice #1, but I learned how to recognize that tendency a few years back.  I have some serious accountability partners (including my husband) who don’t let my britches get too big.  Oh yeah – and I have super-smart kids.  My kids DO NOT let me get too high on my horse.  God and life often use them as a firm reality check.

That leaves what's behind Door #2.  When in the middle of a lot of blessings, I start to wonder when disaster will strike.  Rather than basking in the glow of the Son (and thanking Him all the while) I tend to look over my shoulder.  I know this doesn’t have anything to do with the hardships we've endured in the last 3 years.  I've had this thought before.  It was in the middle of my Friday conversation with Gindi that I had déjà vu.  We had the same conversation 6 ½ years ago, when I was on maternity leave after having Sophia.

Things were going so well, in our marriage, adjusting to having two kids, work was going well for both of us….life in general was just so rosy.  So the feeling that it was all going TOO well began to creep up on me.  I confessed that I was just waiting for something bad to happen.  That was when she said: 
Nothing bad is going to happen.  You are in the middle of a season of blessing.  Enjoy it!

Her simple, but profound words stayed with me.  I realized not every part of my life was about painfully growing in faith, or that the Lord would always be disciplining me.  In that moment, my job was to breathe in the peace He had placed over my life.  That was all, I was just to enjoy what God had given, nothing less.

Fast forward to last week and in the middle of the conversation, I came face to face with how hard it is for me to accept the blessing at face value.

I just got in the habit of wondering what the next crisis would be because it has seemed that way for the last 7 months  Through the reminder of all He has done before and that sometimes a blessing is really just a blessing (not a curse in disguise) I have been doing my best to think the best and just be grateful for God's handiwork.

I don’t want to miss the joy of recognizing His presence with us.  The more I think about what “might” happen, the more I miss out on what He is trying to do in me.  It is this joy, my friends, that is the giver of life.  Joy builds hope.  Hope, in turn, builds confidence.  And confidence sustains us when difficulties come again. 

I don't know how long this particular season will last, or what we will face tomorrow.  But for today, I will acknowledge God's hand on us and live without fear because I know He is blessing us now and will again.

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