Are You LUCKY or BLESSED When Receiving God’s BEST?
For those of you who know us Stuarts, we are HUGE Notre Dame fans. We have attended at least six Fighting Irish home openers over the past 10 years. Our son has Notre Dame toward the top of his college “wish list” and can navigate his way around this university’s massive campus like nobody’s business. We know ND’s Alma Mater forward and backward and have “channeled” the LUCK of the Irish when Notre Dame has been in scoring position more times than I can count. Ironically, we are “LUCKY” if we have 1/100th of Irish blood running through our veins. Even more ironic… we are Protestants by faith, not Catholic. So how do non-Irish, Protestant peeps become ND fans? Long story, short… Steve and I were BLESSED to have a very good friend who graduated from ND. He gave us a personal tour of the campus, along with showing us the ins and outs of the famous landmarks, and booking reservations for the exclusive Legends Restaurant. It was love at first game… lol!
With St. Patrick’s Day on the horizon (HELLO MARCH!), we will experience an array of wishes associated with luck as we gear up for our pandemic-regulated St. Patrick’s Day festivities. While gathering all of my green garments, including ND gear, I had a bit of an epiphany. I realized that I have been using the word BLESSED instead of luck in recent years; causing me to ponder the difference between the two. Full disclosure, this post is not meant to shame anyone who uses the word “LUCKY” instead of “BLESSED”. Instead, it is my HOPE to invite the conversation about the differences between the two; enlightening us all on the meaning of each word. Are you ready for some definitions? (Stay with me… there’s good stuff yet to come!)
Diving into the dictionary, I discovered that being LUCKY is the idea that by chance, something in the universe made a situation go in your favor. On the contrary, being BLESSED is attributing a given situation to the goodness of God. Being BLESSED is a Biblical word, grounded in self-containment. In other words, regardless of what is happening to us, we feel God’s BLESSINGS and are content in His perfect peace. The differences between LUCKY and BLESSED are similar to the differences between being happy and having joy. Happiness is based on external circumstances, whereas joy comes from within; having faith in God’s provision, wisdom, and love. I just LOVE connecting the dots across the dictionary spectrum!
Speaking of spectrums… my BLESSING research has enabled me to realize that there are many forms of BLESSINGS. You can be BLESSED with a faithful marriage and healthy children. Your home can be a BLESSING, along with the food that is served on your table. Furthermore, you can be BLESSED with health and financial stability. Factoring in a pandemic, you may even feel BLESSED when you find toilet paper and Lysol in the store! Yes, the aforementioned items all fall under the BLESSING category; BLESSINGS divinely provided by The Father. However, I discovered that the BLESSING spectrum covers BLESSINGS that go even deeper than these.
The deeper end of the BLESSING spectrum is grounded in the trials, challenges, and struggles we face. While family, health and even wealth are BLESSINGS, when one (or all) of these things are taken away are we not considered BLESSED? Hmmm… I can tell you, from experience, when those BLESSINGS are taken away, we have an opportunity to develop an even closer relationship with God because… God meets us in our weaknesses. He even carries us in our weaknesses (Footprints in the Sand, anyone?) The intimacy we experience during our weaknesses causes us to surrender to His power; letting go of our own. It’s during these moments, when we are at our lowest point, that we have the ability to experience even deeper BLESSINGS… BLESSINGS that touch our soul. These deeper BLESSINGS cause us to yearn for God’s guidance; diving deeper into His Word. BLESSINGS that touch the deeper end of the BLESSING spectrum cause us to meditate on His Word with a desire to hear His voice and wisdom. With deeper BLESSINGS comes a deeper understanding of God’s divine character.
BLESSINGS based on our weakest moments go beyond material and earthly possessions; entering into the eternal realm. Makarioi is the Greek word for BLESSED; meaning to be fully satisfied… regardless of the circumstances we are facing. In other words, the deeper BLESSINGS involve anything God gives us that make us fully satisfied in Him… self-contained in His love, in His peace, in His HOPE. These BLESSINGS enable us to relinquish the earthly and hold on tight to the eternal. Ironically, it’s in the tough trials, the disastrous disappointments, and the limitless losses that enable us to feel completely loved, satisfied and BLESSED. God certainly knows how to knock us off our feet; turning our traditional thoughts on their head.
Regardless of where you are, who you are with, and how you are feeling, God’s best BLESSINGS are wrapped up in His infinite love and limitless HOPE. We experience God’s best when we are at our worst. I just LOVE that! As spring approaches, may the luck of the Irish be with you, surrounded by God’s best BLESSINGS. May you be FILLED with the satisfaction that only God’s BLESSINGS can deliver. It is my HOPE that these BLESSINGS have an eternal purpose, arriving in whatever form God chooses to bring you closer to Him. Indeed, it is in our earthly worst moments that enable us to experience God’s best BLESSINGS, regardless of the season. (Go Irish!)
BLESSED are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. BLESSED are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. BLESSED are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. BLESSED are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be FILLED.
Matthew 5: 3-6
Check out Hope's book, The Smile Mile, on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Smile-Mile-Hope-L-Stuart/dp/1512744255