This morning my pastor said something that shook me to the core, to the point of the overwhelmed happy sort of steady stream of tears flowing for the rest of the morning.
To briefly summarize the context of the teaching, we’re in a series called Disciple Maker, going through what it really means to live like a disciple so we can be disciples who make disciples who make disciples. Today’s focus was on loving like a family (previous weeks have been thinking like a missionary and living like a servant). We studied Genesis 12 and talked about Abraham, the father of the Israelites, God’s chosen family, the beginning of God’s redemptive story to make us all part of His family.
In Genesis 12: 2 God says to Abraham, “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.”
And then he (my pastor) said the thing that I CAN NOT stop thinking about.
The blessing of God wasn’t any sort of anything that receives a hashtagblessed declaration on social media (my words, not my pastor’s, he doesn’t speak in as many hashtags as I do haha). God’s blessing wasn’t a thing or a feeling or even protection or provision (not that by definition those things don’t make us feel blessed).
God’s blessing to His people was this: “I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”
His blessing is His presence! Whether life is good, bad, ugly, messy, in seasons of want or plenty, we are overwhelmingly blessed by His presence.
God’s blessing isn’t just the husband or marriage I long for, God’s blessing is being aware of His presence and goodness even when I don’t have the spouse I long for.
God’s blessing isn’t the prefect marriage, God’s blessing is being aware of His goodness and presence even when it’s really hard AND when it’s really good.
God’s blessing isn’t a seemingly perfect unbroken family, it’s being aware of His presence and goodness even if your family is broken or non existent and recognizing the ways He places the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6) and inviting the lonely into your family, into His family.
God’s blessing isn’t life, the lives of loved ones, or our own lives, it’s being aware of God’s presence and goodness IN life, and being aware of God’s presence and goodness in death, in loss, in our weeping and mourning, in pain and sickness.
I’m so overwhelmed by the beautiful ways God has placed the lonely version of me into family after family after family. I’ve yet to spend a holiday alone even though I earth shatteringly fear that I will every time. Family after family that has no blood relation to me at all continues to invite me in and allow God to place the lonely in me into family. And that’s just one of the many ways His presence is a consistent blessing in my life.
We are His people. He has blessed us with His presence. But that’s not the end. He blesses us so we can bless others (Genesis 12:2). Blessing other isn’t just about finances and provisions, though we SHOULD share our resources with others. It’s also about recognizing all the ways God has been present in our messes, and loving the people surrounding us like that too.
I am #blessed. And so are you. May we never keep it to ourselves, may we invite others into the presence of God that we experience, may we bless others the way God blesses us, but inviting others into our lives, into our families, into His family.