God takes good care of us.
Of course, it’s only good and right to thank Him for all the ways He blesses us. As His children, we know that He leaves us wanting for nothing – and over and over again, we can see Him providing for us in ways we could never have imagined. That said… perhaps there’s a bit of a pattern as to what we count as His blessings, and what we don’t.
When life is good – when the sun is shining, when we are comfortable and loved, when things are going our way and “all is well in the world” – it’s then that we easily attribute it as a “God thing,” and happily give Him thanks. Let’s consider this for a moment. Is the main indicator that God is blessing us really the fact that things are going our way? Don’t we believe and profess that His will, and not ours, is what brings us true joy?
Let’s re-focus here. What are God’s greatest blessings? What should we be thanking Him for the most?
Jesus said it Himself in His sermon on the mount: “Blessed are the poor in spirit… those who mourn… the meek…those who hunger and thirst for righteousness… the merciful…the pure in heart… the peacemakers…those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake…” (Mt 5:3-10)
Going off of this, what does a person richly blessed by God actually look like?
If there were just one person that God could have blessed the most, it would have had to been the mother of God. But what kind of life did she lead? Not the comfortable life, by any means. She lived in poverty. She must have been rejected and misunderstood by those who didn’t believe in her Son’s true parentage. She went through heart-wrenching mourning at the foot of the cross. And if we take Christ’s words seriously, all these difficult things were also gifts from God.
She was also pure in heart, open to receiving God Himself in her womb. Her mercy and desire for peace led her to give the gift of her Son first to Elizabeth, then to the shepherds, then to Simeon, then to the whole world. Her meekness allowed God’s will to take center stage in her life, from the Annunciation, to Cana, to the cross, and through Pentecost into the age of the Church. These too were gifts from God.
But of course, there was one way in which she was blessed that surpassed (and encompassed) all others: Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
The greatest gift God wants to give us is Himself. Everything else, all His other blessings, are simply ordered to enable us to receive Him more and more. It’s only through this lens that we can see how such things as poverty, mourning, meekness, hunger and thirst, mercy, purity of heart, peacemaking, and even suffering, can be greater blessings than sunshine, friends, and good food. Rather than keeping us attached to things that, in the end, don’t last, they open us to the Living One Himself, the fountain of eternal life.
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