Monday, May 27, 2013
Blessings In Disguise
“……We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don’t give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going. Through suffering, these bodies of ours constantly share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies…….. And as God’s grace brings more and more people to Christ, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.” 2 Corinthians 4: 6-`18 (NLT)
Memorial Day is a federal holiday where most celebrate by having picnics and parades ushering in the beginning of summer. As we celebrate let us not forget the true meaning for celebrating this special holiday. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service.
When I think about celebrating Memorial Day it brings about mixed emotions. We are joyous as we gather together with family and friends to celebrate the beginning of summer; but it is also a day of mixed emotions – mixed blessings. Countless men and women gave their lives so we can celebrate the freedoms and security we have in our great nation.
Lately the news reports have been bleak. There have been reports of alleged government betrayal; massive tornados; collapsed bridges and other tragedies. Everywhere we turn there is someone who is hurting and has suffered a loss of some kind. Unfortunately suffering and sorrow is no respecter of persons and it has been around since Adam and Eve.
This past week as I have been watching the news on our nation’s latest tragedy in Moore Oklahoma I was reminded of Laura Story’s song, “Blessings”. She writes:
“We pray for blessings, we pray for peace; Comfort for family, protection while we sleep; We pray for healing, for prosperity; We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering; And all the while, You hear each spoken need; Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things; ….. We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear; We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near; We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love; As if every promise from Your word is not enough; And all the while, You hear each desperate plea; And “that pain reminds this heart; That this is not, This is not our home, It’s not our home”
I think Laura Story’s heart felt words says exactly what so many of us have felt and said this past week and throughout other trials in our lives. We have cried out to God in our sorrow and said, “why?” Laura Story does not stop with the question – “why?” – She thought and prayed hard for the answer as she wrote:
“’Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops; What if Your healing comes through tears; What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near; What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life – Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy-What if trials of this life- The rain, the storms, the hardest nights -Are your mercies in disguise”
As we watched the news this past week we not only saw the destruction these tragedies caused but most importantly we witnessed the courage and hope of a community that seemingly lost everything; and yet we hear countless testimonies from people standing in the rubble of what was once their home – that even they lost all their earthly possessions these same people testify that they are blessed because they still have all that is truly important in this world -their lives and their loved ones as well. They say as the apostle wrote above, “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don’t give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going.”
Yes, even though we have lost countless lives through wars and other tragedies we are still a proud and grateful nation. Let us not forget the men and women who gave their lives so we may live in the greatest country on earth – But most importantly, let us not forget the ONE who gave His life so that we may have the eternal hope in heaven. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.
To listen to Laura Story’s Blessings click Laura Story Blessings