Today’s Gospel: Matthew 5:1-12
You Are Blessed.
Jesus sat on a mountain and addressed a crowd full of ordinary people with these words. You’re blessed. You’re blessed if you’re persecuted, if you’re poor, if you’re downtrodden. You’re blessed if you work for peace and people hate you for it. You’re blessed if you are mourning. You’re blessed, even if everyone you know says horrible things about you and considers you anything but blessed.
What can it mean to be blessed when you are in the middle of something so unpleasant? How can we be blessed if we don’t feel blessed?
What if being blessed feels like a huge struggle?
What if we didn’t ask for this blessing and would just as soon return it to the sender?
“Rejoice and be glad,” Jesus told the people. I can’t help thinking that “rejoice and be glad” is a tall order for someone who is suffering and struggling just to make it through the day.
Jesus didn’t say we would feel blessed. He said that we are blessed. Maybe being blessed isn’t about how we feel at all. Maybe being blessed is the reality of living in faith. If our mindset is that we are, indeed, blessed, then we are bound to find evidence of that blessing around us.
When we found out we were expecting twins, we were stunned. As our news spread to family and friends, people tossed the term “blessed” around a lot. “You are so blessed!” everyone raved. While we knew in our hearts that this was true, we worried that we wouldn’t be able to handle everything involved in caring for two babies at once. We were afraid that the arrival of double siblings would be hard on our older child. There were moments when the news felt like more of a burden than a blessing.
As we have grown into the role of parenting our twins, we have realized that we are certainly blessed. We have been blessed by the support and involvement of friends and family who helped us care for our babies and brought us meals. We have been blessed with strength and courage we didn’t know we had. We have learned that when blessings arrive from God, they come with special gifts…often just the things we need to survive the blessing itself.
Is there an area of your life that feels more like a burden than a blessing? Does the knowledge that we are blessed even in our most difficult circumstances help you to approach it differently?
Lord, help me to see the evidence of your blessing in my life, even when things are hard to face.
Copyright 2014 Abbey Dupuy