Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Being Blessed with Less

“Praise the Lord, O my soul . . . who satisfies your desires with good things” (Psalm 103:1, 5).

I once read the story of the great financial loss the Englishman William Wilberforce faced because of his efforts to abolish slavery.  He missed his books and gardens most of all, but when he walked through someone else’s garden, his heavy loss led to “the solid and great increase of (their) enjoyments”.  In other words, he gained greater appreciation for them as a result of his losses.

I thought of this as I read one of Charles Stanley’s devotionals.  He mentioned that Christians typically associate God’s blessings with more, but sometimes God blesses through less.  Stanley wrote, “In some situations, the best thing He can ‘give’ is to take something away”.

It is very easy for me to dwell on all the “lesses” and losses of my health problems, but blessings have come with them.

Years ago I didn’t think twice about walking around an amusement park for hours, sitting on a chair all day in class or at work, or reading and studying for long periods of time.  Now, when I am able to take a short walk, I’m much more observant of God’s handiwork.  My sitting issues have driven me to my knees – quite literally!  I’ve learned to let go of my pride, carrying my seat cushion to public places and entertaining friends on my knees. Since my eye problems limit my reading time, I am more careful to read what is positive or edifying.  I am continually learning humility, contentment, and dependency on God.

Do I still want to be blessed with more?  Yes. Do I still envy the “mores” of others?  Sometimes. But God has and is showing me that the “lesses” and losses of pain and illness can bring their own unique gains and blessings.  And the greatest blessing of all is that of hopefully becoming more like Jesus.

Prayer:  O Lord, how often I assume that You can benefit me only by giving me more of what I want and enjoy.  Change my way of thinking, and make me more aware of all blessings that come through the lesses and losses in my life.  Amen.

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