We’ve embarked on our summer blessings series and given that focus, I am hyper aware of when I see or hear the word, “blessed.”
The other day, I noticed a person standing on the side of the road with this sign, “Will you please bless me with $1?” I read this on the back of a Lexus: “I’m not spoiled, just blessed.” I saw a person wearing a t-shirt that said, “Too blessed to be stressed!”
I am remembering a person in a previous presbytery who, when asked, “How are you?” always responded with, “I’m blessed and thankful.” I can hear the stated clerk of our denomination telling a crowd that we need to “get off our blessed assurance and get to work!” It seems I cannot escape blessedness.
Know it when we see it
And this is, of course, a good thing. I cannot escape blessedness, and neither can you. God blesses us with the gift of life, abundant and eternal, sometimes we recognize this gift, but often we neglect to acknowledge it.
Perhaps as we move through the long, hot days of July we can be more cognizant of the countless ways God’s face shines upon us. Maybe, too, we can be careful what we label a blessing and recognize when we might actually be spoiled.
Even when we’re stressed
It is OK, too, to acknowledge that we can be both blessed and stressed. There may be days when we can say we are blessed and thankful, know it, want to mean it, and still feel defeated or angry.
We cannot escape blessedness and that frees us to come to God as we are and know God will not turn us away.
“Count your blessings, not your problems,” so instructs the art at the big box store. That sounds like good advice, and I want to heed it, but I trust, that even when I fixate on my problems, grace abounds.
Rest on blessed
As we explore more texts in the weeks ahead, I hope we will remember that Jesus poured himself out for us, lived, died and was raised, that we might be saved. Hence, we are blessed and if you are in a place where gratitude is hard or you need to rest on your blessed assurance for a while, that’s alright because nothing can undo God’s grace.
We are a blessed people and that means when some of us grow weary, others of us can take up the slack. We are one body with many different gifts from the same Spirit and, in the words of Henri Nouwen, “We have to bless one another constantly.” Nouwen says, “To bless means to say good things.” We “remined one another of our belovedness.” So, friends, let me remind you that you are beloved, your blessedness inescapable.