I met with someone recently who shared with me a pretty serious event in their life. As I sat listening, my heart was aching for all that this faithful young soul was going through. And then the individual said, as if to wrap up the story, “Oh, but I am so blessed”.
I knew exactly what this person was really saying but I wondered if someone (who didn’t use churchy lingo) overheard our conversation, would they have understood or would they have just thought them nuts? This person’s story sounded anything but blessed!
Some of us say “bless you”, or “they are so blessed”, or “he is such a blessing” quite naturally but what does it actually mean?
A great passage to read is Genesis 12:1-3. It is here where we are introduced to Abraham and the awesome promises God made to him. These three verses are pretty significant not only for the story of Abraham, but for the entire Bible because these verses establish God’s plans for his people.
The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.
“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you;
I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
Check it out. The words bless/blessing/blessed are used five times. So it must be important, but what does it mean?
At first blush we can see that a blessing (from Genesis 12) is the opposite of cursing. When you curse someone, you want bad stuff to happen to them. No one I know wants that! So if a curse is negative, it is logical to assume that a blessing is positive. I have to say I have never met anyone who doesn’t want to be blessed! In Genesis 12, God is promising Abraham that he will receive good things.
But I think there is something even more profound about a blessing. Being blessed is more than receiving good things from God. A blessing is about being in relationship and not just any relationship, but a right relationship with God. So the way I see it, receiving good things from God is not the goal but rather the consequence of being in a good relationship — a friendship even— with the Creator of the universe.
Here’s the thing. Because of what Jesus accomplished on the cross, we have been blessed. When he died on that cross for us, he did the impossible and mended the relationship between us and God. And because of this pivotal act of Jesus, we know that God will look after us, both in this life and in the life to come. Now that’s a blessing!
So when the individual I spoke with ended their account by saying, “Oh, but I am blessed” what they were saying is this: ‘Even in the midst of all of this, I know that God has accepted me and has welcomed me into a relationship with Him.” They were saying that, “even though things are difficult right now, I know that God has expressed that relationship by giving us good things.” They were saying, “at the end of days, I know where I will be standing.” They were quite right. They are BLESSED!
Join us as we begin a new three part series called “Blessed”. Each week we will look at a unique way we have been blessed. You may be quite surprised!
Come, and invite a friend!