“You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestation of your own blessings.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert
20 years ago, at a camp for people with disabilities in northern Minnesota, my camper David, brought me to meet God in a new way, and showed me my need for more of Him and less of me. That night in the camp chapel, alone with David and God, my life was changed forever. It was the beginning of the journey of understanding just what it means to have more of God and less of me, this gift is His Blessing.
To learn to be accepting of Gods provision to teach me to be humble and to depend on His way of molding and shaping me, has been a fight to say the least. One of the hardest fought lessons has been to trust. Trusting God for real, is hard, trusting people feels almost impossible at times, and trusting my self has been practically impossible for most of my life. But even with the struggle, God has been faithful to drag me through, sometimes kicking and screaming. One thing that has helped has been that God poured out a blessing on me while I stood in His presence with David. He showed me things I needed to know would come, in order to keep me moving forward. Things He knew would keep me alert to His purpose , and help me relentlessly move towards His voice, though most of the time I cannot see at all.
I believe with all of my heart that God has destined each of us with a purpose. He has given us gifts, strengths and weaknesses, that He uses to help us move towards Him and His plans for our lives. Gods blessings to us are typically to help us to have the strength and courage to carry out His purpose in our lives. Over the last few years God has been teaching me much about His blessing. He has taken me down paths I would never journey down on my own, he has shown me mountain peaks that have proven His leading and valleys that have allowed me to prove that I would be led. 20 years ago God showed me things He wanted me to see, and it was a blessing, because it pointed me in the direction He wanted me to go, and showed me I could not go on the journey alone. Through the years He has consistently reminded me He has many more blessings ahead and that He would prepare me for those.
So I have thought, prayed and studied blessing. I have asked for blessings, I have even grabbed on to Him and demanded blessing like Jacob did. In the end God seemed to laugh and say, "OK , you want these blessings, than you need to be prepared for them". So, as I have moved through life I have encountered many things that have seemed to be negative, but proved to be positive by their end. Last week many of you walked through some scary days with us, as Karol's health came into question. For many days it seemed that cancer may be looming and that we may be in for a long battle. In the end God showed us that He loved us and had lined up hundreds of His people to love us to. In the process I was once again brought to my knees, not willingly, as in bowing to pray to the king, but doubled over in fear and pain, unable to stand on my own. Eventually, through His mercy, I was able to be on my knees in prayer, asking for direction, asking for courage, and in thanks for His outpouring of love and the plain sight of it.
As this period of fear has come to an end, He reminded me once again, that he was providing the perspective needed for the coming journey...from my knees! He is preparing me again for His blessing. He reminded me that in His old testament, a blessing was received while on ones knees. One of the Hebrew roots for the word blessing is literally, knee. Our knees are actually one of weakest point in our bodies, as I found out firsthand only months ago as the doctor repaired the tendon in my knee that was torn off and I was unable to stand or walk. You have heard the term "weak in the knees" referring to being overcome with emotion, shook, feeling like you could fall down to your knees. I felt like this many times in the last week as the prospect of a major health issues threatened Karol. So I move ahead from this time looking back with thanks for the answer to hundreds of prayers Karol received. God has showed us again He has a purpose in everything, He has brought us to our knees to receive that blessing, a blessing that is the very gift of Hs power to do what is impossible to us, but possible because of Him. He has shown His love to us through so many of His people, that is empowerment, that is His plan, that is His blessing, love is ultimate weapon in the war on sin, against flesh and the devil himself.
God I thank you for the painful situations that knock us to our knees and for being right there to scoop us up into your arms from that humble place. I am sorry for my lack of trust in you and your purpose. I again ask for your grace, to trust you more.