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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Really, God?

God’s blessings follow you and await you at every turn: when you don’t follow the advice of those who delight in wicked schemes, when you avoid sin’s highway, when judgment and sarcasm beckon you, but you refuse. For you, the Eternal’s Word is your happiness. It is your focus—from dusk to dawn. (Psalm 1:1-2 VOICE)

We don't have to fear the next turn in the bend, although we don't know what awaits us, we can be assured of this - God will bring blessing out of every circumstance we face. It may not seem that way as we are rounding that bend into what seems to be a tumultuous ride, but God's plan is to bring blessing even out of what is the hardest and most demanding of life's moments. God's blessings follow us - they are like the wake of a boat moving through the water - impacting those around us and leaving their lives just a little bit more blessed by having been touched by him. It isn't that we avoid the calamity, but that we refuse to be overcome by it - not giving into the pull toward judging the moment as too severe, unfair, or unrealistic.

Stop for just a moment to consider this - if we resist the desire to become judgmental or flippant about whatever it is we are facing, could this possibly be one of God's blessings he gives us in that moment? To face it without going down the path toward a sinful response of ungratefulness, complaint, or anger - maybe this is one of his blessings - this stable attitude with which we can focus not on the event, but on the one who promises to keep us as we go through it. There will be lots of advice from those around us as to how it is we are to face the moment - some will lean toward embracing it, others will advise we resist it, while still others will say we probably deserved it. Didn't Job have those who came to offer their advice on the matters he faced? What makes us think we won't have the same type of "advisers" rising up when we least need them! The best we can do is thank them for their desire to help, then lean into God's Word - for he longs to declare to us what it is we are to lean upon while we are going through the situation.
I would be remiss here in not admitting my own failure to keep a positive attitude on occasion as I faced unpleasant stuff. There are times when it is just easier to complain, resist, and get downright angry about facing the stuff I thought was too hard, or perhaps too unfair in my life. I didn't want to walk through divorce, but I made it through by his grace. I didn't want to be a single parent raising two kids, but with his grace and guidance every step of the way, my kids turned out pretty well and I was reasonably "unscathed" by the trip! I didn't want to lose my job, but whenever it happened, God made a way for me to stay totally caught up with my bills, never missing a beat in blessing me along the way. I didn't always embrace those challenges eagerly, waiting with marked anticipation to see how God would turn these things into a blessing. In fact, I think I complained a little too much, got angry a lot, and even worried way more than I should have. What I can tell you is this - God helped me see the blessing even when it was not very apparent at the get-go, turning my complaint into gratitude, my fear into trust, and my anger into submission.

Going down any path with God is not an assurance it will be an easy path, but it is an assurance you will make it through and in the end, although it may not look like it, there will come blessings untold!  Just sayin!