Wednesday, January 5, 2011

God? Bless? You?

     "God bless you!" We mouth these three simple words to people in passing, on greeting cards, and even when someone sneezes! We've said it~heard it so often that often we really don't even mean it. It's become just another hollow expression we toss back and forth, limiting it's power to "Have a nice day!" But let me tell you, this is no trite cliche'!
      Chew on these "blessings" from God. But be careful! Don't expect to swallow them in one big gulp! They are quite a mouthful! After all, they are the words of Jesus!
  •  "You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
  • You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
  • You're blessed when you're content with just who you are--no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.
  • You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat.
  • You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'care-full', you will find yourselves cared for.
  • You're blessed when you get your inside world--your mind and heart--put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
  • You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family.
  • You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God's kingdom. Not only that--count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens--give a cheer, even!--for though they don't like it, I do!" (Matthew 5, The Message).
This is really too much food for one meal! But before you push away this platter of blessings, I hope you will digest each one, a day at a time, and ponder your blessed position.
      Has God? Blessed? You? He's certainly blessed me! Life has been a topsy-turvy journey, but every hardship has served to birth the babe of Christ in me. He whittled away at my self-coping mechanisms, left me with a glorious God-dependence, and signed my emancipation proclamation to be the real me: the 'me' He created me to 'be'!
      I have to confess that this 'God-me' is a bit more than I can handle at times. She's constantly stepping outside her comfort zone. She's a woman of God: shameless, fearless, and intimidating (yes, even to me)! She's called to do "greater things than these." She's more than I can tame (LOL)!  She's seriously "blessed" and dangerous! But, what did we expect, anyway? When we put God's label on something~ anything~ it's bound to shake up our cozy little world!
      GOD BLESS YOU! I am speaking this greeting over you today with all the power that these three humongous words dictate, and with a prayer that you will become all that God intended you to be!

~As we enter the New Year, my heart is especially burdened for those who are suffering the pain and loss of the past year: loss of employment, loss of loved ones, loss of health or mobility, loss of the freedom to choose. I pray that the Lord will lift His countenance to you, that you will find peace in His presence, and that every hardship and loss will result in knowing Him more fully, and loving Him more sincerely. May the Lord our God truly bless you with the full measure of Himself, birthed on Christmas and being birthed in you! In Jesus Name, Amen!

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