It’s been a while I know. Sometimes life takes over and you aren’t quite sure what to share or feel safe sharing. I always wanted this blog to be a place of safety and vulnerability. A place other moms could come and feel like they aren’t alone. A ray of light in such a dark world.
One of the things I have been pondering through my study of Colossians is the idea of obedience and blessings. I recently had the honor of hearing Anne Ortlund speak and her message left me hashing and re-hashing my relationship with the Lord. The gist of the message was to commit to discomfort in good times and bad and being steadfast to the end. It was quite convicting in all areas of my life and I soon realized as I began reading over my notes that to many it may seem like her message was kind of a downer. So there’s going to be a whole lotta suffering and discomfort all the time!? Yea, real positive message Anne!
As I began to think more about the discomfort of obedience to God I realized that’s only half of the equation of following Christ. It became clear as I read the parable of the workers paid equally (Matthew 20:1-16). A landowner hires day laborers at different times throughout the day and at the end of the day he pays them all the same. When the laborers who had been working since sunrise complained he says, “Friend, I am doing you no wrong, did you not agree with me for a denarius?” He continues, “Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?” At first glance this parable seems HUGELY unfair! And rightly so…if we base it on worldly standards. Jesus was using this as an illustration for salvation. Whether you accept the Lord’s gift of salvation at an early age and follow him for 50 years or you finally accept the gift on your death bed it doesn’t matter. We all get to be with Him in paradise (Luke 23:43). But what the parable doesn’t include is the benefit for those who follow Christ throughout their life. I know that we get heavenly blessings but what about the earthly blessings? Are there any?
I put together my personal list of what I would consider to be earthly blessings:
- Beautiful marriage & a spouse that is a living example of God’s love for me
- Children that seek after the Lord with all their heart, soul and mind
- Humility, grace, compassion and mercy
- Love for others
- Servant’s heart
- Sense of humor about myself
- Wisdom & knowledge to guide others to a saving faith in Christ
- Writing God’s word on my heart that it may pop into my head with any situation
- A disciplined and obedient heart and mind
- Money to bless others & help spread the love & word of God
Now these may not be attractive for an unbeliever but for those who truly desire to follow Christ these are worth more than anything this world can offer.
Discomfort & suffering are guaranteed if you follow Christ (Philippians 3:10). But let’s not forget WHY it’s worth it! We have a comforter (2 Corinthians 1:4), an advocate (1 John 2:1), a forgiver of sins (Romans 4:7), a gracious and powerful God (2 Corinthians 12:9). God promises blessings in what we do if we are obedient to His word (James 1:25). Anne’s message wasn’t a downer at all! It was empowering and encouraging! If my desire is a closer relationship with the Lord, than I want to know any and all ways to achieve this. And if that means suffering and refinement for Christ’s sake than bring it on!
So tell me friends, have I missed something? What earthly blessings do you enjoy from the Lord?