Thoughtful Thursday: When the Blessing is Removed; a Blessing in Disguise

Job 29:2-5

2 “O that I could be as I was in the months now gone, in the days when God watched over me, 3 when He caused his lamp to shine upon my head, and by his light I walked through darkness; 4 just as I was in my most productive time, when God’s intimate friendship was experienced in my tent, 5 when the Almighty was still with me and my children were around me.”

Job’s pain over his loss is so tangible we can feel it.  He remembers being in a position of prominence and favor and his temporary position of scorn and constant pain seemed to be handed out by a merciless God.

The heartache over loss can be paralyzing and discouraging.  We can wonder if God abandoned us.  Why did His blessing have to be removed?  Was it Him or the blessing we were after?  In a moment of nostalgia, we can think that the time which has gone before was better than the present.  Yet in that former time, would we have had that perspective?

Surely when one has gone through a traumatic life event, innocence is gone and one can long to return to that simpler time with less strife.  The pressure of living with consequences is significant and the desire for relief is a constant current, longing to pull us back to the blessing we knew before.  When things are difficult, we crave ease.  But God, our loving Father is the perfect parent – even when we do not get what we want.  He knows what is best for us.

While the lessons learned in the midst of tragedy are a harsh tutor, there is a bright side often unseen.  Priceless wisdom is gained and if we truly look to God in the storm, we will have a peace that is greater than the peace before which was in ignorance.  Ignorance seems to be bliss, but if comfort is our highest goal, we miss out on being able to worship God in a deeper way when things are not “perfect”.

I have not experienced all of Job’s sorrows, yet I identify with this passage in so many ways.  When tragedy strikes, we might not be as esteemed by man, but the opportunity to be closer to God is far greater.  Grieving over loss of reputation seems kind of silly when we consider all of eternity.  Instead of bitterness, a removed blessing can cause us to be grateful.  Why were we so blessed?  Perhaps there are things in my life now that I do not recognize as a blessing.  Lamenting over the past has its place, but then so does surrendering to God in the present and looking to Him for our redemption.

God will restore us.  While we wait, He is developing character worthy of bearing His Name.  Job would certainly say He could not conceive of the blessings that God brought back into His life.  He was a different person when He was restored than the one before.  Transformation carries a cost we would likely not be willing to pay if we knew it ahead of time.  Praise God for His wisdom and enablement when we are in the crucible of suffering and walking in times of blessing.

Lord, You are our portion.  You are our delight.  Thank You for all of the blessings in our lives and for Your precious promises.  Thank You for redeeming every hardship and turning them into a blessing, after all.

Most Influential Blogger Award!

I’d like to thank John Mark Miller at The Artistic Christian for nominating me for the Most Influential Blogger Award!

Most Influential Blogger Badge

If you enjoy inspiring meditations, reviews of movies and books, fun articles and even Haikus, check out the John Mark’s blog at:

http://theartisticchristian.wordpress.com/

Award Guidelines

Here are the guidelines for acceptance – really very straightforward.
To accept this award, the awardees must do the following:
1. Display the Award on your Blog.
2. Announce your win with a blog post and thank the Blogger who awarded you.
3. Present 10 deserving Bloggers with the Award.
4. Link your awardees in the post and let them know of their being awarded with a comment (or a pingback).
5. Include an embedded video of your current favorite song (YouTube has almost everything, just copy and paste the link into your WordPress editor). If a video is not possible you can embed a SoundCloud track.

My Favorite Song

Recently I wrote a piece for Writing 101 in which we needed to select three songs.  Now I am tasked with this difficult selection again.  The song, “Already There” by Casting Crowns is a song that always uplifts me to know our Sovereign God is always in control.  He already knows the end completely and is there – outside of time.  Check it out here:

My List of Most Influential Bloggers!

It’s my privilege to introduce you to some talented bloggers who I believe are Most Influential Bloggers. I hope you enjoy their writing as much as I do:

1. Anchor Community Church https://wordpress.com/read/blog/id/56098905/

2. Christine, at Christine’s Collection: https://wordpress.com/read/blog/id/47677974/

3. Discover One Thing:  http://wordpress.com/read/blog/id/60885879/

4. We Are Abundantly: http://weareabundantly.wordpress.com/

5. Tina, at Golden3devotions: http://golden3devotions.wordpress.com/

6. Amanda at Amanda Jo Norwood: http://amandajonorwood.com/

7. Carl, at Three Iron Nails: http://carlchewning.org/

8. Pen of the Sheep: http://penofthesheep.wordpress.com/

9. Shearon, at Refreshing Times for Women: http://thetimesofrefreshing.wordpress.com/

10. Walking in Freedom: http://kmbstone.wordpress.com/

Writing 101, Day Nine: Changing Moccasins — Point of View

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Writing 101, Day Nine: Changing Moccasins — Point of View

For today’s assignment, write a scene at the park. Up for a twist? Write the scene from three different points of view.

 

The air was hot and still.  Persistent perspiration was stinging my eyes and fogging my glasses.  I wiped my brow and glanced around.  Young people laughing carelessly and running like deer, seemingly not a care in the world.  I remembered when I could move like that.  Even though the temperature is uncomfortable, I am grateful that I have another day to live.  My aching bones remind me that I better think twice about walking the hiking path, but I do it anyway.  Life is good.

It’s so humid and miserable today – the air condition cannot cool me off.  Why did we have to come outside on a day like this?  I am missing my favorite television show and have to suffer heat exhaustion instead.  That old man over there is crazy for walking in this heat.  I can’t wait until we go home.  I wish I were that squirrel over there, climbing up the tree into the shade.

More humans to frolic at the park today!  This means more food left behind and cleaning up after them.  I sure hope they do not leave that nasty potato salad behind again – it made my tummy hurt last time.  Maybe I will see if that girl has some food to share.  She does not seem happy, though.  Maybe she ate the potato salad, too?  I must hurry and catch the old man – he seems nice and might give some food to me.