A guest post written by Joan Clark from Redlands, California
I recently attended the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast in Redlands. In fact, I was there early helping to set up because the local Interfaith Council is a co-sponsor of this annual event. I was looking forward to the morning’s program because the theme was especially dear to me: “Finding God’s Blessings in Our Daily Lives.”
Who doesn’t love feeling blessed? The Bible is a wonderful resource for discovering God’s promises of love and care for each of us. A number of my favorites are found in Psalms, including this one: “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” (Ps. 34:8, NKJV) Tasting and seeing are active verbs and tell me that I can feel and witness God’s goodness and presence right here and now. Humility is required to reap the fullness of God’s blessing; for to trust Him completely is to set aside human will and to be willing to quietly listen for His direction.
The Beatitudes shared by Jesus at the Sermon on the Mount, offer eight memorable blessings that we can count on. The first relates to the humility I just mentioned: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:3) I love J. B. Phillips’ enthusiastic translation of that verse: “How happy are those who know their need for God, for the kingdom of Heaven is theirs!” (The New Testament in Modern English, Touchstone, c1958)
How many of us remember our need for God in the middle of our busy day? We have our scribbled to-do lists, which always seem longer than the time allotted, whether we’re teachers, parents, students. office managers, or volunteers. How can we find God’s blessing when feeling swamped or discouraged? I have found quietly turning to God to acknowledge His government and direction has consistently brought me peace when faithfully done. Sometimes I might be led to drop a project, reach out for help, or come up with a simpler plan. Other times, I have refused to be distracted by the mess begging for clean up or the latest message on my smart phone!
I have taken to heart the opening promise penned by spiritual thinker Mary Baker Eddy in her primary work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, over 140 years ago: “To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings.” It was pointed out to me years ago in Sunday School what was meant by the word “lean.” We were asked to stand up with our backs to our partners and then allow ourselves to simply fall backwards, knowing we would be caught. Knowing someone would catch us didn’t make it any easier. This was hard! We had to absolutely let go and trust they would catch us and not let us fall.
Trusting God requires letting go of whatever we would hold onto for security and finding our refuge in Him. This kind of trust yields infinite blessings – directly from God.