Blessings Redefined

Written by On Thursday, 12 September 2013 10:07

The evening of Saturday the 7th of September saw us go through the Beatitudes with Pastor Calisto at Saturday PM. I first heard the word beatitudes in a CRE class when I was in primary school; I remember being specifically intrigued by the word. I have heard it preached and discussed several times after that. However, true to itself the word of God is living and active and as I listened to Pastor Calisto new thoughts began to form in my head, almost as if I was hearing about the beatitudes for the first time. Hold that thought.

Last week I got a great surprise on my mail; a very thoughtful friend sent me The Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. It’s a fabulous book, never mind that I am just halfway, it has not disappointed me yet(it also seems everyone else has read it except me) The outliers is the story of success, through it I have learnt to take a different look into what really made successful people successful, in one of the chapters Gladwell eludes to the fact that many of the successful people had gone through a seemingly disadvantaged experience in life that had forced them to make certain choices in life that in the end made them a success. This got me thinking about the beatitudes again.
For a long time I have looked at them as a bunch of really cool sayings from Jesus. Pastor Calisto shed a somewhat different light and made me think about how they were a reality in my own life. According to Jesus you are blessed; when you are at the end of your rope, when you feel you have lost what is most dear to you, when your commitment to God provokes persecution, when people throw you out and speak lies about you to discredit God. You are blessed. Now, this is some ‘crazy’ stuff for those who believe that God’s blessings are rainbows and butterflies and all things nice, that God would never allow bad things to happen to you.
The more I thought about the more I was an encouraged and I hope you will be as well. All things work together for good is what I always here, but how many times do I really believe it, especially at that time when I am at the ‘heat of the moment’. A popular response is normally to blame God, to be angry at God or to question the goodness of God. What if instead we looked at possible blessings that might come out of our bad experiences? Gladwell in his book quotes very many researchers who have done studies to support his idea; these are people of the world who may not even know God. Isn’t amazing that our God spoke of the same idea over two thousand years ago? Have you seen this at work in your life? Do you have ‘disadvantaged’ life experiences that have turned out for your good? Are the beatitudes a reality in your life? Share with us.

What if your blessings come through raindrops,
What if your healing comes through tears,
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know you’re near.
What if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise?
Laura Story

Juliet Odhiambo

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