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A Shift in our Perspective on Blessings

This song, by Laura Story, was sung by two of our praise team members yesterday at church as the musical special. It is one that I've heard many times on the radio but hearing it and seeing the lyrics yesterday morning really brought it home to me. Then as I was reading the Bible this morning I was struck by Psalm 78:25 which reads;

Man did eat the bread of angels; He sent them food in abundance.

This is a Psalm that is recounting Israel's time in the wilderness and how, even though God was so faithful to take care of them at every turn they still managed to turn their backs on Him. Even in the midst of the wilderness He was providing for their needs and was gracious enough to feed them with "the bread of angels." How often are we fed with the bread of angels and fail to see it as provision but instead find it in ourselves to complain? It is so easy to look at the Israelites and think, "What was the matter with these people, didn't they understand?" Well, no they didn't and the reality is we don't either. With the Bible we have been granted the privilege of seeing the big picture when it comes to the Old Testament. We are given a sort of "bird's eye view" of God's redemptive plan that carries on through the New Testament and the coming of Messiah. What I fail to understand many times is that we are part of God's continuing plan of redemption and while there isn't going to be another testament added to what we have, one day we will see the whole thing in its entirety. One day, we will be able to look back on what has transpired in our lives and say, "What was the matter with me, didn't I understand what was going on?"

I wonder how often we are given blessings that we mistake for curses? How often does God give us the bread of angels and after a while of eating it we begin to ask for something better? As God provided this bread "in abundance" so He offers us blessings in abundance but they may be different from what we desire or expect.

What if the problem is our perception? We have a set of desires and expectations for blessing that have been formed, not by the Word of God, but by society and personal pleasure. Just think about it for a moment. By our standards in America God's blessings and favor are seen in material wealth and well-being. How do people quantify God's blessings? Do we have lots of money? Do we have lots of real estate? Are we healthy? And the list goes on.  It could very well be that our desires are for the second rate and mediocre when all along God has the best in mind even though it is unexpected. What if, as the song says, "His blessings come through raindrops?" The question is, for us, are we prepared to see those raindrops as the "bread of angels?" I have to believe that those blessings are meant to prepare us for something far greater than life on this earth. If this life is but the introduction to the book that will be written throughout eternity then it only follows that God would be far more concerned with preparing us for that. Listen to what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:17;

For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison. 

Whatever God gives us and puts us through in this life is but preparation so that we will be as prepared as possible for the unfathomable glory of eternity with Him. When I was in basic training at Ft. Benning, GA the drill instructors put us through all kinds of hades. At the time it was far easier to complain about the pain and discomfort than it was to be grateful for it. However, when I got to Iraq a few years later I was eternally thankful for the training that I had received while in the safety of the United States. In all reality, what we went through in boot camp turned into a blessing later on.

While we were at the beach a few weeks ago with my wife's family we spent a fair amount of time playing "Mario Brothers Wii." During one of our gaming sessions her brother jokingly said, "This isn't a game. Its training for life!" Sadly, shooting fireballs and warping through various pipes is NOT training for life. However, I think we gain a new perspective on our time on earth if we understand it as "training for eternity" rather than the goal in and of itself. It is with that perspective that we can rightly see God's action in our lives for what it is, a blessing.

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the achings of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise
What blessings are you missing today because of the wrong perspective? Where has God provided the "bread of angels" in your life and you counted it a curse? 


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