Sometimes blessings don’t always look like a blessing when they come. In fact, they may look like more trouble, more inconvenience, another circumstance to fret and worry over.
I read a story about a lady in the mission field. It was in a remote area, and they were dependent on a regularly scheduled supply delivery. But one time the supply truck didn’t show up, and the only thing the woman had to eat was oatmeal. It wasn’t a particularly satisfying cuisine three times a day, but she was thankful for it and the fact that she was not starving. So for 4 weeks she ate oatmeal!
Soon the supply truck arrived, and with it came a medical team. The doctor took care of the village people as always. He also did blood work and a physical on the missionary team, and if results were okay, then he would see them again in a month or two.
Time passed, and the doctor’s team returned. He went to the lady and asked if she had ever been infected with an ailment that effected the stomach, sometimes severely. She said not that she had been aware of, but her stomach had been a little upset, but seemed to settle down a few days into her forced oatmeal diet. Then she asked the doctor what was the remedy for this ailment? He said “we prescribe a strict diet of oatmeal for 30 days.”
God can use anything or anyone to bless others:
“On Sunday, believers arrived at a house church in the Soviet Union in small groups throughout the day so as not to arouse the suspicion of KGB informers. They began by singing a hymn quietly. Suddenly, in walked two soldiers with loaded weapons at the ready.
One shouted, “If you wish to renounce your commitment to Jesus Christ, leave now!” Two or three quickly left, then another. After a few more seconds, two more. “This is your last chance. Either turn against your faith in Christ,” he ordered, “or stay and suffer the consequences.”
Two more slipped out into the night. No one else moved. Parents with children trembling beside them looked down reassuringly, fully expecting to be gunned down or imprisoned. The other soldier closed the door, looked back at those who stood against the wall, and said, “Keep your hands up–but this time in praise to our Lord Jesus Christ. We, too, are Christians. We were sent to another house church several weeks ago to arrest a group of believers.” The other soldier interrupted, “But, instead, we were converted! We have learned by experience, however, that unless people are willing to die for their faith, they cannot be fully trusted.” (From “Living Above the Level of Mediocrity,” by Chuck Swindoll).
Two very different circumstances, both starting with trouble, both ending with a blessing.
Sometimes the blessing is in surviving; sometimes in being rescued, sometimes in rescuing; sometimes loving, sometimes in being loved; sometimes in being silent, sometimes speaking out; sometimes in giving, sometimes in receiving; sometimes in losing, sometimes in finding.
A man had come under some heavy burdens financially. A friend came to him and gave him all the money he needed. “I can’t let you do that!” the man objected. His friend encouraged him to learn to be blessed by others – “Give them a chance to expand their soul.”
Sometimes blessing others, sometimes in being blessed by others, God affirms to us His love and forgiveness and grace and mercy found only in Jesus.
28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
31“Do you now believe?” Jesus replied. 32“A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.
33I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have tribulation. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
– John 16
The greatest blessing to be had or given is our reconciliation to God through Jesus. There is no other way under heaven whereby people are saved – reconciled to God – but through Jesus.
Having received the greatest blessing of all, we must share it with others.
“For God so loved the world….” John 3:16-17