Thoughts about faith

Blessings

Laura Story wrote and performed a song called “Blessings” that really spoke to me. Before I comment let me post the lyrics.

  • Songwriters: Laura Mixon Story

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering

All the while You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

And all the while You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

And what if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It’s not our home

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst
This world can’t satisfy?

And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise?

It is so true we always pray for the good things like good health, solid finances, keeping our job, etc. Those are very valid things to pray for. Yet life does not always give us what we hope for. Sometimes God’s answer is different than what we prayed for.

Why do some live long lives and others short lives? Why do some live each day in pain while others are pain free? If God is love then why all the suffering in the world?

Romans 8:28 is my “life verse.” I’m not usually into having things like a motto, a favorite song, and so forth but this verse has stood out as one that answers the struggles of my life.

“For God makes all things work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.”

Notice what it doesn’t say. It doesn’t say God only allows good things in our lives. Note it says God “makes” all things  “work together for good.” In other words He takes the good and the bad and uses it for good. He shapes us and builds our character through our trials. Without trials we would not grow very much. That is human nature. We tend to stay in our comfort zone and avoid pain.

Yes God could make life easy and pain free. He did not make us robots though. He gave us free will. Ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed in the garden mankind and indeed creation has been on a steady decline. There are birth defects and diseases because we live in a fallen world and our choices affect this world like pollution and chemicals that cause cancer or add toxins to our bodies. God left us as stewards of this world and we have affected the world which God gave us.

Instead of constantly fixing our world or preventing our mistakes God lets us continue to make choices and live with the consequences yet for those who love Him He uses all of that for good! He is preparing us for eternity. We tend to not be able to look past this life. We have our hopes and dreams and when tragedy strikes we think of the loss of those things yet eternity awaits us. If we could but have one glimpse of heaven we would not fear our death so much. The Apostle Paul had such a glimpse and he was torn between wanting to be in heaven and finishing his mission here on earth.

In times of suffering and grief it is hard to see the good in it. Yet the good is there if we love God. Even in pain and suffering we can glorify Him. By bravely showing our gratitude in spite of our circumstances and keeping our eyes fixed on heaven we show the world that this life is not all there is. There is joy here and now when we keep the proper perspective on life and see it in the light of eternity.

I write this having led a difficult life with much hardship. I write this with my beloved sister recently diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer and now lying in the hospital in great pain due to complications. I am challenged not to ask why this is happening to her or why my life has gone the way it has. Instead I am challenged to look for the good God will bring out of it and how I can bring glory to Him in the midst of all this. I long for heaven and yet, like Paul, know it is not yet my time and until it is I have work to do. I must love above all else. No matter what else people think of me let them say I had great love and compassion. Let me comfort the sick and the dying and uplift those I am around. Let me make each life I encounter better for having encountered me.

God is mercy and sometimes His mercies come in disguise.

Praise God!

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