Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Blessing in Disguise

Blessings in Disguise
A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

Genesis 49:25-27 (NIV1984)
Because of your father’s God, who helps you, because of the Almighty, 
who blesses you with blessings of the heavens above, 
blessings of the deep that lies below, blessings of the breast and womb.
Your father’s blessings are greater than the blessings of the ancient mountains,
than the bounty of the age-old hills. Let all these rest on the head of Joseph,
on the brow of the prince among his brothers.

Note: If you are getting this in your e-mail you will have to go to my Devotional site to see the video.

Today I am sharing a song that has touched my heart this past year. I know for the longest time, I thought of blessings as only the good things in life, my view was very shallow. It is a blessing to be given a gift, friends are a blessing, family is a blessing. Wisdom, peace, healing, and prosperity are all blessings. But what about suffering, pain and trials are they blessings? My dictionary gives bit of insight into the word blessing. It is the act or words of a person who blesses, a special favor, mercy, or benefit, a favor or gift bestowed by God.

I think sometimes blessing can come in odd packages. A friend who is difficult to deal with may be the blessing that helps work the character quality of patience into our life. Not getting what I want, when I want it may be the blessing that helps me to learn to trust God. In the bible you will find the story of Joseph. He is sold by his brothers into slavery and spends years and years in a life in circumstances that are not at all what he imagined. Those years of hardship as a slave and then a prisoner, molded and shaped him. Maybe it knocked off some of his prideful and arrogant rough edges in the process as well. In spite of his hardships, he continued to trust God and made the best of his situation.  Was that time of slavery and the years in prison blessing? Lets not answer that quite yet. 

Most of us know the end of the story. If not you can find Joseph’s story right around Genesis 37.
Keep in mind that Joseph had no gift of foresight to see how his life would turn out. He did, as a boy, have some wild dreams of his brothers and parents, bowing down to him. Sharing those dreams got him mostly trouble. I have found that when God gives me dreams or visions, they generally have a way of trying and testing my faith. There is always a span of time when nothing in my present circumstances indicates that I am anything but crazy to continue to believe what God has shown me.  I am sure it was the same for Joseph. Were those dreams a blessing during his years in prison. Did they give him a thread of hope to hang on to or did they cause him to question his sanity? There are so many questions in this story that challenge my understanding of what I call God’s blessing. Those years of hardship prepared Joseph to be the second most powerful man in all of Egypt.  People got saved from the famine because Joseph was in the wrong place at the right time.

How do we measure what is or is not a blessing in our life?  Might the difficulty you are facing be working in ways that you can’t even see? Could something like loneliness be a blessing if it draws you closer to God or causes you to begin to reach out to others. I like the lines at the end of the song Blessings by Laura Story.

“What if my greatest disappointments, or the aching of this life,
Is a revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy?
What if trials of this life, the rain, the storms,
the hardest nights are your mercies in disguise?

I wonder, are the things you are facing making you more thirsty for God? I guess my challenge to you, is to look at the things you are going through from another angle. I would propose you look upon them with a thankful heart. With a heart that chooses to trust even when things don’t presently make sense. What if the hard things you are facing, are blessing in disguise?

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