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Monday, August 29, 2016

Monday Morning Devo - What's a Blessing?


Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10, NKJV

We usually tend to think of blessings as things that bring happiness, wealth, health, all we can eat, plenty of relaxation--that type of thing. However, during this longish life I've lived, I've found out that sometimes blessings begin to occur in the middle of the mess.

Being deathly ill is not fun. Being tortured for your faith is worse. Mourning, hunger, working until you're exhausted, debilitating handicaps, being bullied, failing to achieve...none of these sound like blessings, do they?

Yet--sometimes in the midst of the worst, the blessing begins. While in the hospital bed, too weak to move, I experienced the caring of professionals who did everything they knew how to do to make me get better.I was honored and humbled by what they were willing to do for me. And so I gave thanks to God, and I began to thank the caregivers even for that extra needle poke when a vein refused to take what it was given. Even to the young man who bathed a very smelly old lady without embarrassment. And especially to those who emptied the bedside commode. Unpleasant chores done cheerfully.

The more obvious blessings began to appear. Friends, neighbors, family came to visit, called, sent cards, brought flowers, took care of my pets and plants, . My daughter came to stay when I got out of the hospital--such a blessing! I love spending time with her, no matter the reason. And my health returns, however slowly. God is so good.

Sometimes the blessings are harder to see or feel, aren't they? Those who are persecuted for Jesus's sake--that didn't end with the death of all the disciples. It still goes on today. I'm sure those in the midst of that persecution don't feel much like they're being blessed, but Jesus said they will be.

In the middle of misery, there can be a kernel of joy if you look for it. Seek to see the blessing, and then share it the best you can with what you've got.

Father, help us to see that You are always there, always seeking to bless us. You are the good, good Father. Amen.

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