This Sunday begins a five-week series of readings from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 and 6. Jesus begins the teaching with the beatitudes, “Blessed are the __________ for they will _______.” I wrestle with these blessings since they are rarely ones I seek.
For example: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. I prefer to be filled with the Spirit, overflowing with passion and energy. To be empty sounds like a curse to me. Like many, I feel “blessed” when things are going my way and I am content.
Yet perhaps Jesus is calling us to realize that our blessings are not dependant on our circumstances, but always on God’s grace. I need to recognize my total reliance on God to allow room for the Holy Spirit to work. If I think I have the power on my own, based on my goodness or performance, then I am lost in my folly.
As a child I often played in the tide pools along the Pacific Ocean where my family would go camping. I would carve canals in the sand and manipulate how the water flowed from pool to pool. I thought I was in charge of the beach, until a real ocean wave crashed down on my construction. The the Lord of the beach and all creation showed me how poor I was.
I think we all play on the edge of God’s ocean of blessings. At times we need to stop thinking that we are in control and allow God’s power, grace and love to overwhelm us. That can be frightening at first, but healing and joy comes with the blessing.
How have you felt God’s blessing in your life?