Thank you, Lord, for all the things that are easy. And thank you even more for all the things that are difficult.

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I would like to remind everyone that I have a long history of being wrong about stuff, so I may be wrong about this:

I am not blessed because I have things or experience certain circumstances. I am not blessed simply because things go my way, or because I am lucky, or because I receive some positive outcome or result. And I am not cursed or punished when things do not go my way, or when circumstances are working against me, or when the outcome is not so positive, or the result is not what I want. 

The blessing, the gift from God, the unearned grace is that I am alive — life is the gift! existence is the blessing!

If I am grateful to God for all of those things in my life that I want, and which make me feel blessed to have, then I must learn to be just as grateful, if not more grateful, to God for those things in my life that I do not want, or make me question my blessing. Because in those moments, God smashes my definition of blessing, which can become an idol over time. God smashes the sense of entitlement which can lead to indifference. In those harsh, difficult moments that feel more like a curse than a blessing, I am reminded of just how much power I do not have, and how dependent I am on God for even the smallest thing. Sometimes losing is a greater gift than gaining. Sometimes failing is a bigger blessing than succeeding. Sometimes, if God were to punish us, He would give us what we want.

Life itself is the unearned gift we receive from God. And even in the midst of the most difficult circumstance, that gift can be seen if we are but willing to look. 

Thank you, Lord, for all the things that are easy.
And thank you even more for all the things that are difficult.
Because I can not make it through the difficulties alone,
But I must seek your guidance and your help.
The struggles of life, Lord, bring me closer to you,
And closer to those people you are working through in my life. 
In the things that are easy, I need no one;
But in the things that are difficult I need you
And I need those people you have put in my life. 
It is in you, O God, that I live and move and have my being;
And it is in people that you speak and move and act in my life.
If everything were easy, I would forget you and others,
But in the difficulties of life I remember you and see you in others,
And I am not alone.

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