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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Blessed (11/29/04)

TITLE: Cleverly Disguised as aThorn
By Robert Drury


Blessed, in one or more of its usual forms; blessings, God bless, etc. is undoubtedly one of the most frequently employed words in the vocabulary of the “average” Christian (I’ll leave the definition of that term to a later column.) It has an overwhelmingly positive connotation and even the adage, “A blessing in disguise” points to the ultimate goodness and desired outcomes of God’s Grace. A significant portion of the body of prayer offered each day concerns itself with the topic, either through petitions for particular blessings or in thanks for others granted. Such as it should be.

All of which makes the following statement quite shocking; most blessings go unnoticed, especially the ones that really matter. First and foremost, is the gift of life. I fear that its value has been trivialized to the point of deeming it a collection of inconveniences which usually ends, well, rather inconveniently. Life is taken for granted, provided, of course, you are not a fetus that presents its continued existence as an inconvenience to someone else. It is of little wonder that for most of our existence we never consider its alternative, the obligatory philosophic Bud Lite conversations and funeral service hangovers aside.

Part and parcel of that gift is the gift of relationship. Our Creator was not absent mindedly experimenting with us, but created us in their own likeness so as to be more able to celebrate intimacy with Him. There is no greater human hunger than the desire for intimacy, relatedness and sense of belonging. . He is a triune God who is love and relationship and grants us this desire so as to delight with us in its fulfillment. If I may paraphrase Pascal; “ God created man with an abyss in his soul that only He can fill.”

Our rejection of this relationship left us to his mercy and the greater gifts of forgiveness and redemption. They were made greater by the unspeakable pain and love that bore them;

He became one of His creations. Not just for a moment, but for a life time in the most humbling circumstances. He was rejected by friends, family, neighbors, His own people and even His closest followers. He was murdered in the prime of life in the most callous and cruel fashion known to man. All for one reason, so that we could be spared from the second death, the one that lasts forever. He gave us life, we rejected it for evil and death, He redeemed us through his blood, so we could be born again and live with Him for eternity. Can there be a greater gift, given twice? Can there be a greater God, who suffered death on the cross as a price for us?

What of the blessing of humility? Without it, we could not ask to receive the gift of forgiveness, which is freely given to all … if and only if they ask. We do not even have the humility to ask for humility, it must be first given to us! Can there be anything more humbling than that?

What of the fruits of the Holy Spirit? Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Goodness, Kindness, Gentleness and Self Control … could we ever be sufficiently grateful?

What of the innumerable revelations we receive? The conviction of our own ingratitude makes us sincerely grateful as it reminds us, that, without Him; we are nothing, have nothing, and are capable of nothing and that with Him, our possibilities are infinite;

Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26)

Perhaps the greatest blessing of all is the revelation that we will never need worry about how great we were, are or will be ... simply because of how great He is, always was and ever shall be. Praise God!

Desperado 12/04

Member Comments
Member Date
Deborah Anderson12/07/04
You're a good teacher, Robert. God bless you.
Phyllis Inniss12/08/04
As usual, Robert, your messages are sound and soul-searching. I enjoy them for the truths that they expound. Thank you for sharing.
Jodi Hodge12/09/04
I enjoy the way you write. Very profound. I am looking forward to reading more of your work.
Mitzi Busby12/09/04
Robert, Thanks for the food for thought. I appreciate the truths you presented.
Joanne Malley12/11/04
So truthful and informative. You certainly know how to search your thoughts. I'm sure this article is a "blessing" to many. Joanne