There are few things that will get me up early on a Sunday morning, one of which is playing soccer. Another reason I’ll drag myself out of bed is when a need arises in my community. A couple weekends ago I did just this when a group of us from the Freeport Church got together to help someone move into their new home.
After a few hours of heavy lifting, pinched fingers, and maneuvering of unwieldy furniture through narrow halls, general muscle fatigue began to set in. We were tired, hungry, and cold. Yet, looking around the home, you could never tell. On the contrary, it felt more like a party. Jokes were being told, laughter was abundant, and the aroma of fragrant skewers from the grill was permeating the air. As we gathered around a make-shift buffet, conversation easily flowed. We all pondered on the blessings of a new home. As my family recently moved into our home last summer, it got me thinking about this notion of blessings. I remarked feeling “lucky” and “fortunate” in finding our new home, noticing that for some reason I was having trouble calling it a “blessing”. When Ted preached the next weekend on the notion of blessings, I understood what that trouble was all about.
“ And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28.
How has God “worked for the good” in your life? What are the “good” things? What happens when it seems like nothing good is happening at all? These are the questions I naturally ask when reading the above verse. I don’t know about you, but I see lots of good people without good things, struggling just to survive the day. Where are their blessings?
... consider the good things happening “in me”
In the sermon, we were encouraged to reflect not on what good things are happening “to me”, but rather consider the good things happening “in me”. When examined under that light, the verse takes on new power. I once heard a quote from a famous author that goes something like this: “Each experience, good or bad, has made me into a better writer.” I can be blessed by success or by failure, love or loss, grief or joy. In all these things, God works in making me better. My trouble in thinking of my possessions as a blessing is that I’m not altogether sure they have done something good “in me”.
When I reflect on what is “good” about my life, the responses have everything to do with relationships I have developed. These are the blessings I cherish. I can wake up early on a cold Sunday morning and count myself blessed to be among my loving community, pinched fingers and all.