Up until my 30s, I saw many blessings from God, that looked like… well, blessings.
√ Caring and supportive parents
√ Happy childhood
√ Academic success
√ Growing career in my field
√ Encouraging husband and beautiful daughter
√ New (to us) house in a friendly neighborhood
My life wasn’t perfect. I had hard circumstances and bad days.
But overall, I had experienced what I thought a blessed life would look like. I was thankful to God for this life.
In my 30s, however, I began experiencing other things.
I heard words like,
…creeping uncomfortably closer to myself and my loved ones than I had ever imagined they would.
And then twice, about little ones in the womb, the words came. “There is no heartbeat.”
At the time, each of these words was earth-shattering in my idyllic world.
But looking back, I see something I never expected I would see.
Blessings that come through the hard, as God shows Himself powerful healer.
Blessings that come as grace, right in middle of the hard, as God shows Himself loving sustainer.
Blessings that come after the hard, as God overcomes the darkness.
The blessing of learning empathy.
The blessing of understanding forgiveness, and seeing with more clarity than ever before the cost of the forgiveness God has shown me.
The blessing of letting go of my feigned control.
The blessing of learning to trade fear for trust.
The blessing of knowing God is truly all I need, and more than I deserve.
Given the choice, I’d always choose blessings that look like blessings.
And many times over, God has given those obvious things as evidence of His love.
And the same all-good and all-powerful God also allowed seeming-tragedies that carry blessings, for which I’m required to search.
And in the searching, God has changed me.
And in the searching, He lets us see them – the blessings amid the hard.
How he turns the mess into something useful, sometimes even beautiful.
Right now, you have to be in one of the places where I’ve been.
Maybe you’re experiencing obvious blessings.
Maybe you’re going through exceptionally hard days when it doesn’t feel like you can make it, and “blessing” seems like a foreign word (and you need to hear Those Words that make a difference).
Or, maybe you’ve seen the evidence of God’s goodness in both the obviously good and in the absolutely hardest moments of your life.
In any of those places, with all my heart I want you to search for Him.
Remember, He is with you.
Remember, He is good.
Remember, He can turn the darkest night into the most beautiful sunrise.
He is Jehovah Nissi – The Lord our battle fighter.
He is Jehova Rophi – The God who heals.
He is Jehovah Shalom – The Lord our peace.
He is El Roi – The God who sees (you).
He is Emmanuel – God with us.
He is I AM – the same absolute powerful God of Abraham, Moses, Daniel and Paul.
When you can’t do it, He can.
If it seems like right now is just too dark and too hard, please keep going. Keep searching for God and His goodness.
I can tell you from experience, His blessings are there… when you look for them… where you least expect them.
“The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!’ The LORD is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him.” Lamentations 3:22-25 NLT