Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Blessings Missed

When I was a kid, I didn't have much. I mean, I had plenty if you were to compare my family to, say, a starving family in Ethiopia living in a single room. At one point, though we were pretty close.

When I was a baby I lived on a bus. Not a nice, cushy, touring bus either. This bus got so run down that the school system didn't want it anymore, so they donated it to a church. Then it got so run down that the church couldn't use it either, so they donated it to my family. Believe it or not, at the time it was a step up.

I could go on, but that's not really the point of this post. Times were hard then. I suppose plenty of people in my situation would have become cynical and depressed. Thanks to my parents, though I was taught to focus on the positive side.

The thing I learned most from being without is that God answers prayers. I suppose some would say, "Why didn't you pray to be rich, then?" An excellent question, and there were definitely times I wondered the same thing. I also wondered why God wouldn't give me a sister when I prayed for one. I suppose the answer is, "God in His wisdom knew what was best for me at the time, and being rich (or having a sister) wasn't it."

Now that I'm an adult I have moved to the other side of the tracks, so to speak. My husband has a good paying job which makes it possible for me to stay home with our children. We are able to live comfortably within our means. We are not in debt (unless you count house payments).

As I was driving in my 5 year old minivan (the cars my parents drove were at least 10 years old, if not older), I was wondering about the blessing of God in my life. I reminisced about the good old days and wished that I could see miraculous answers to prayer again, like I had as a child.

There's a verse in the Gospels that says (pardon my paraphrase), "It's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to get into heaven." (I love references to sewing) The more blessed I am financially, the more obvious it is to see this truth.

You see, there is this facade that comes with earning money instead of having it given to you. It makes you think that you got it on your own. It's easy to believe that your hard work and dedication are what gives you the life you live.

When you know something is impossible, and you pray for it anyway, and God gives it to you miraculously, it's so easy to see the source of your blessing. But, when God gives you an amazing job, and works it out so that you're paid enough to cover all of your needs and then some, it's easy to forget the true source.

As I pondered all this I realized... There are so many things that God is doing for me, things He's given me that I haven't even thought to pray for because He's been doing such a good job taking care of things that I haven't even noticed anything missing. It's like praying for a glass of water while standing under a waterfall.

I know, with the recession and all, that there are a lot of people who are not in a very good position right now. I'm sure to some of them, this post comes off as arrogant and condescending. I'm not trying to rub it in anyone's face. I guess all I'm trying to say is, trust God. He knows what's good for you. He knows what you long for, and He is, even now, ready to pour it out. But you have to be ready to receive it. God is good, and He will not give you anything you can't handle. So, if you're wondering when His blessings are going to come, perhaps it's time to look around and start counting the ones He's already given you. Maybe, while you're busy tallying up the ones you've already received, He'll flood you with the ones you've been praying for.

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