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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Raindrops keep falling on my head


'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops

What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near

What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise...
(Chorus: Blessings by Laura Story)

So many of God's greatest blessings come to us in the form of some "disguise" - they aren't realized as blessings until somewhere down the road when we look back and see all God has done to coordinate those steps up to where we are at that moment of "realized blessing". There are times when God's greatest blessings seem a little "counter-intuitive" - they just don't "add up" at first. In time, we see the bigger picture, but along the way the road is littered with hardship, tears, hurts, and trust issues. Could it just be the purpose of every "bigger blessing" coming in that disguised way may just be to really clarify our true place of trust?

O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help.  (Psalm 86:5 NLT)


Along the way, we get to the place where we might just come face-to-face with our "trust issues". It isn't that we don't trust, but that we really place our trust in some of the weakest and unreliable things. It also may be that the disguised way that blessing comes into our lives reveals we are the ones we have been trusting in all along - doing things our way, intent on somehow figuring stuff out all on our own. Some misinterpret the adage found in a fable as gospel truth: "God helps those who help themselves." Look it up - it isn't in scripture, my friends! In actuality, the fable written by Aesop says the "gods help them that help themselves." That paints quite a different picture, doesn't it?

What God asks of us is to take the steps we "know" to be true - to be right for our lives. In doing what we know to do, we are "helping ourselves" to remain in a place where we can hear from God and recognize his purposes for us in this life. We don't get distracted. We find ourselves not so much "doing to get", but "acting right because it is the right thing to do". Yet, as many times as we "know" what we should do - the things God declares to be right and good in our lives - we find ourselves standing at some crossroad trying to figure out the "other stuff" that isn't all that clear to us about whether it is "right" or "good" for us at that moment. When we find ourselves faced with uncertainty, this is the moment the issue of trust begins to surface - will we lean into God and ask for his wisdom; or will we trust our own ability to "figure it out" and run ahead like wild children on a mission to find our own way?

Often the greatest blessings come when we admit our lack of trust. We find ourselves "unburdened" from having to "do it all ourselves". We come to the place where we are obedient to the things we know God desires of us and then we just trust him with the rest. We don't bring him the fifteen "plans" we have devised that might get us out of the mess we are in. We don't ask him to "sanction" one of those as "best". We simply admit that we have been trying to figure it all out on our own and that we need him to show us what HIS plan is. 

Often the greatest clarity comes when we are at the most "muddled" place in our lives - simply because in our "muddle" we finally admit we need help! While we don't relish the moments of pain and hardship leading up to some of the greatest "breakthroughs" in life and relationship, could it be that God is just bringing a little clarity through those seasons? Could it be that we need to bow a knee and admit we have been trying to do this on our own? Could it be that the pain will reveal our greatest healing? Just askin!