Is This Blessing Realistic?

“May God be with you and bless you,
May you see your children’s children,
May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings.
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.”

This is a traditional Irish blessing. It’s a wonderful thought and wish.   We most emphatically want God to be with us and the ones we would bless.  We most emphatically want God to bless those we would bless.  In fact, we most emphatically want God to fulfill all of this for those we would bless.  Is it realistic though?  Is it really the way God works?  I think not, at least not all of it all of the time.

Sometimes I think that we try to boss God around.  After all, how could He know what’s best for us?  We’ve got it all figured out in our minds.  We know how life should be.  It should definitely include for richer, in health, and living long.  Pain should be minimal or non-existent.  We shouldn’t know unemployment, bills we cannot pay, friends or spouses that betray us, children that rebell, mice in the house, ants, clogged sinks, cars that won’t start, lost library books, and all such things.  We would have lots of friends; we would be beautiful and thin; our hair wouldn’t go gray; we would always have money in our pocketbooks; life would be perfect, or would it?

What need would we have for our Creator God?  Would we even acknowledge Him let alone worship Him?  Would we not be setting our own lives up as idols?  Would we not worship self?  Would we grow in grace, mercy, or compassion for others if life were perfect in our own eyes? 

What if our lives are perfect right now?  Not that everything in them is perfect, but what if God is perfectly working in our lives through our circumstances and through other people in our lives to bring us closer to Him?  What if losing the job and not finding another is really a way of drawing us to Him?  What if the arthritis, the heart attack, the pain or the cancer are ways to draw us to Him?   After all, where else can we really go for help?  Do I think that God is causing all of this?  No.  I do think that God allows things to happen that will cause each of us to seek him with diligently with heart, mind and strength. 

That’s what’s been happening with me the last few months.  Lowell’s long-term unemployment and under-employment, our inability to pay bills, my pneumonia, and some other problems in our life have absolutely driven me to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  I am reading the Word almost compulsively.  I must read it daily.  I want to read it often.  I am not really interested in reading anything else.  This from a woman who reads fifty or more books a year.  This year I’ve finished two, I think.  God is changing me.  He’s changing the way I think.  He’s changing how I view my salvation and my Jesus.  It’s all good.  I’m finally beginning to really believe “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 and “I can do everything through him who gives me strength”.   Philippians 4:13.   

Bad circumstances bring us closer to our good God.  Run to Him.  He is our strong tower in times of trouble.  It’s not that He will do all we ask; but, if we give ourselves totally to Him, He will help us to pray truthfully, Thy Will Be Done.

Growing in Grace and Trust,

Laura

Lower Incomes and Loss of Employment

Many of the writers of the blogs I’ve been reading as well as many of my readers are facing uncertain times.  Many are facing lower incomes or loss of employment.  It is frightening.  We ladies like our security.  We like our comforts, whatever they may be.  We like knowing that the bills will be paid, that we can buy groceries, shoes for the kids, whatever we need, and a few extras. 

Over the last five years my husband went from $60 K job to now working part-time for less than $300 a week.  He’s looking for full-time work and has been for months.  Our reality has changed dramatically.  Life doesn’t look like I thought it would or even like I’d like it to; but, I’m getting so much closer to God through this.   God has provided in amazing ways.  We were able to move to a caretaker’s cottage and take care of a country estate four the absentee owner in return for rent.  Money has come from unexpected sources with perfect timing.  Just yesterday I was thinking of some things that our children need.  I have no way of providing those things.  Today, an envelope arrived with no return address.  It was filled with cash.  Yes, cash.  There was an envelope with the children’s names and an envelope with Lowell and Laura on it.  Praise God!  We can buy wood so we can keep warm!  The children need shoes.  We can buy them!  Praise God!  God is so faithful to take care of us.  God bless the sender, who obviously sent it in faith.

My point in sharing this is that you can survive.  You’ll have to learn some new skills, learn to be content, learn to make do; but, you can do this.  You have to lean into God and get that Word hidden in your heart.  Talk to Him.  He is great at showing you every bargain if you talk to Him all the way through the store and ask Him to show them to you.  God bless you through this!
I’ve written a lot about what God’s done over the last couple of years.  Although I write on WordPress now, I have a list of my best writings on the top of my old blog, http://harvestlanecottage.blogspot.com .  You might take a look.

Blessings upon blessings to you!

Laura