In the aftermath of Thanksgiving week, I had a brief conversation with a friend that got me thinking. I realized how our Blessings (with a capital B) come in all shapes and sizes. Some we welcome with open arms and celebration…and others…well…. we just don’t. But as I pause to reflect on some of my greatest Blessings, I realize that I may not treasure them near as much had I not experienced their counterpart. Just as a photographic image has its negative, so too with Blessings. They seem to have a mirror image that is not as easy to discern, but is just as critical to our joy factor. It’s not that we wouldn’t recognize the Blessing, were it only the positive part, but the two halves melded together catapult my gratitude into deeper waters of intensity. For example….
- Having to work very hard is a Blessing…. so that we truly appreciate our time off and revel in it.
- Being lonely is a Blessing… so that the connection with another soul is treasured.
- Being cold is a Blessing… so that warmth is ever more pleasing to our senses.
- Being hungry is a Blessing… so that food just plain tastes better.
- Being tired is a Blessing… so that the comfort of a bed and a good night’s sleep feels sooo wonderful.
- Being sick is a Blessing, so that we enjoy our health and quality of life.
- Being heartbroken is a Blessing, so that our joy is magnified when the pieces are patched back together.
Just as Jesus’ words are often followed by so that, I am sure that my world is also filled with many more of them. Sometimes, I don’t see the downside for what it is. However, where there is a downside, there is also an upside, right? In Chinese philosophy this is called yin and yang and they are seen as complimentary rather than opposing forces. I prefer to think of it as God working in our lives using everything to bless us. When I begin to think in these terms, I realize that I am always cocooned in His Blessings and I will try to be thankful for each and every one.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” ~ Roman 8:28