I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means.

So we Christians have a lingo. Accents. Phrases. Robotic responses. And we like our little idioms. We love our clever little sayings. Do we ever. We say them with a boisterous voice, we plaster them on everything Vista Print can sell, we tattoo them on our bodies (well, those Christians do. The other Christians have phrases about those too. It’s a vicious cycle).

But see, I’m kind of a fan of, oh I don’t know, thinking about what I’m saying. What it means. What it implies. Not to say I don’t ever frequently stick my foot in my mouth. I’m working on it.

When I was told that my baby died because “God needed another flower in his garden” I really wanted to release my inner Jerry Springer. Or like, if Jerry Springer and Paris Hilton had a baby, I could be that. Just give me a dadgum reason and I am coming. at. you. And I could have. Because I was grieving, you know. “Bless her heart”, they would have said. “Let’s add her to our prayer list”, they would have whispered. I think instead I flatly smiled and walked away as quick as I possibly could. Or my husband may have dragged me away while speaking kindly over my mumblings. I don’t know.

BUT SERIOUSLY?

Not only is that incredibly unbiblical and illogical, it is a completely jacked up perspective of God’s character. CALL ME A SKEPTIC, but God doesn’t have a garden in heaven filled with dead babies and even if he did he certainly wouldn’t pat my tear soaked shoulder and say “Sorry kid, I just really needed that baby in my garden. I mean I know I was going to give it to you and all but then I thought, ‘nahhh’ and so now he’s with me. Chin up, it will all work together for good.”

Nope.

So another one of those phrases that we all use until we are blue in the face is “blessed.”

Bless me, bless you, bless the children. We are all blessidy bless blessed. Well, some of us are.

Any single little tiny thing that is good or successful can be attributed to being “blessed”. And gosh, if something big happens, then you are SUPER blessed.

So if you are poor, cancer ridden, widowed, or abused then I guess you just…aren’t…blessed??

When we are oppressed we question his love. When we are grieved we wonder “where is God?”. When things don’t go the way we thought they would we doubt our identity. We are our circumstances.

Last night we stayed up way too late with soul friends talking about what makes us “blessed” or “favored”. It’s so easy to set these things upon a foundation of things we can touch. My kids are healthy. I have a roof over my head. My job is secure. Fill. In. The. Blank.

But what if I don’t? What if it’s not?

This foundation is shifty at best. When my perspective of love and blessing and favor becomes about what I have, then it is natural for me to be overcome with depression, doubt, and fear when those things are threatened.

Let me tell you why I believe I am blessed.

I am blessed because my heart was wicked and condemned and I was offered a rescue. When I am foolish, offensive, and self righteous, I have a God who draws near to me.

I am favored because I have a great comforter who whispers to my soul on my darkest nights. When my heart is grieved and my breath is heavy, I have a God who reaches into that soul he created and says, “I know. I hate it too”.

I am loved because when all else may reject me, I am called daughter. I’m offered a hope and a freedom in a broken world full of hate and death. I’m promised this isn’t the end. What my enemy looks at and claims for destruction, my Jesus looks at and says “think again”. Where I am chained in bondage, my God releases to freedom.

There are good things in my life. My children are healthy (and just freaking cute as heck). I have a roof over my head, a husband who is faithful to me, a growing business. I have good things for which I am grateful.

But, I am a blessed woman because I have been claimed. Rescued. Redeemed. The gospel. The Story. It’s mine. It’s yours. Its not contingent upon the brokenness of this world. It’s not biased to the healthy and rich. It’s claimed us. Named us. Restored us.

This is the solid foundation. This is what is true. This is the thing which provides joy and peace during trial. It is the only strength for knees that are weak. It is the only backbone to the body that fails.

Put it on my coffee cup. Send me the t-shirt. Tattoo my skin and add me to your prayer list. Because I do not think it means what you think it means.

Blessed. Favored. Loved.

That’s me, and that’s you.

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11 thoughts on “I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means.

  1. Indeed you are blessed! I lost my wife of 11 years to cancer when she was 32 and we had 4 children, ages 3 to 9. The hardest thing I had ever had to do what get on my knees in front of my children and tell them Mommy was never going to wake up and was never coming home. Fortunately, nobody said anything really stupid to me. At least not that I remember. 🙂 Like you, I probably would have gone Rambo on them or at least given them a good scissor kick to the head. I eventually understood that on this side of eternity, I will never know why God didn’t heal her. And that was okay with me. Because when I do get there to see her again, none of those questions will matter anymore.

    You are spot-on. We look at our circumstances WAY too much to determine if we are blessed or prosperous, and we use that to gauge our relationship to God. We change. Our circumstances change. God NEVER changes, and therein is where my faith must reside.

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  2. Thank you. As a mom to a special needs, very hurt child; As a wife whose husband was diagnosed with cancer with last fall; As a mom of 5 who was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer metastasized to my liver, I am one who doesn’t LOOK or even always FEEL “blessidy bless blessed,” but still KNOW I am. It doesn’t hinge on my life circumstances–it is all about who HE is.

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  3. And….I want to say it is surprising how many Christians are made terribly, terribly uncomfortable when other Christians in their midst don’t LOOK blessed. The recoil factor is high. Don’t be afraid…..trials are not contagious…we will each walk through our own. Fight the recoil factor!

    http://www.theologyofwork.org/old-testament/job/jobs-friends-blame-job-for-the-calamity-job-4-23/jobs-friends-accuse-him-of-doing-evil-job-4-23/

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  4. The word “blessed” in the NT is the Greek word “eulogia” which literally means “good words.” It’s where we get the term “eulogy.”

    We are indeed blessed, favored, and loved because God speaks good words over us. He sent His Good Word (Jesus) to first show us how to live, and then die and rise from the grave as a tangible demonstration of the fact that we are loved. He offers salvation as a free give because we are favored in His sight.

    God doesn’t go around killing people, stealing our health and livelihoods, and destroying our lives to “teach” us humility, faith, or a host of other pious-sounding religious drivel. Satan is who steals kills and destroys (John 10:10). You’ve probably never head of me or read my writings, but you’ve just encapsulated in one lovingly and elegantly written article what it took me a whole series to refute doctrinally. http://misc-ramblings.com/acts-of-god-not-series/

    In an era of so-called-Christian Internet trolls who say the vilest things about Christian leaders who they disagree with doctrinally (specially when those leaders experience tragedy) and who judge the lost for the sins they cannot stop because those poor souls have not experienced the love of God flowing through us believers, you are truly a breath of fresh air!

    I’d listen to you preach/teach anytime!

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  5. What you said – i know it logically, but I buy into the non reality. Your words are delightfully succinct. You say so quickly and with laser focus what is true. It convicts me. I’m thankful to read your blog. I need to remember and tell my child of the truth about being blessing vs things to be grateful for. One of those is always changing. You are a gifted writer. Gifted. There’s a word for you that can be seen as Christian-ese lingo, but also it’s not 😉

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  6. This blog is awesome, I dont even like blogs, but its like reading my own journal of someone else’s life..im glad to have come across it, im encouraged.

    Like

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