Today as I was working on the curriculum I’m putting together for mission trip participants, I got blindsided. Seriously, God deserves at least a 15 yarder for unnecessary roughness. There had to be a nicer way to show me what He wanted me to see. Regardless, I got the message loud and clear. It’s sad really, how many times it takes me to learn a lesson, the same lesson, before it really sticks with me. Let me share the latest example…

As I was writing the curriculum, putting my rough ideas down on paper, I was brainstorming about what it means to be blessed. I’ve grown up in the church, memorized the beatitudes in Matthew 5, and thrown the word blessed around like the smallest cousin at the family get together. But while I was busy waxing eloquent about what scripture means by being “blessed” I was jolted with memories of when I have considered myself blessed, in real life, on a regular basis. I had to look no further than my instagram account, where I have used the hashtag blessed numerous times. Here are a couple…


Now it is true, these people truly are blessings in my life. I wasn’t pricked by referring to them in that way. What pricked me was the times I refer to myself as blessed, verses the times I don’t think of it that way. Take the pictures below, most of which were also shared on social media at one time, with no #blessed.

Why didn’t I think of myself as #blessed at these moments? Probably because in my shallowness I let my circumstances dictate my idea of #blessed. But I was struck today with how the Beatitudes talk about being #blessed. In fact the entire new testament, when referring to being blessed, does not talk about things like finances, health or the like. No, being #blessed is receiving God’s favor, but it is possible, in fact even probable, to receive God’s favor without receiving a life that is a little more comfortable then before. Actually, in God’s infinite wisdom, and because of His love for me, He has a desire to do what is best for me, that is, whatever is necessary to draw me to Him. Many times that hurts. I can see it how it all plays out now, God is sitting in heaven and thinking, “Tim, I want you to be closer to me. I want you to think much of me and not of yourself. It is because of this that I will bless you with a sprained ankle so you can’t rely on yourself for a few months.” Gee, makes me want to throw on my #blessed t-shirt and brag about how blessed I am. I know, I know, dumb example. But you see my point?

God doesn’t want me to see only the things that I think make my life easier or more comfortable or more enjoyable as blessings, actually, some of those very things may not be blessings at all, but rather hindrances. He wants me to see ANYTHING that brings me closer to Him, makes me more dependent on Him and gives Him more control of my life as a blessing. Here is to hoping that when my life gets uncomfortable, I will go to the Lord in prayer and thank Him for my #blessed life.

These are not new truths, I’ve known them for years. Today however, I was pricked with a little guilt that I’m not applying what I know to my life like I should be. Wow, God confronted me and made me a bit uncomfortable, ultimately to draw me a little closer to Himself, I guess today I was #blessed.