“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies.”— 2 Corinthians 4:8-10
“In you, O Lord, I see refuge; do not let me ever be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me. Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily. Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me.”— Psalm 31
This week we are talking about finding blessings during the struggling times – illness, grief, loss. And boy are we in struggling times right now. Pandemic, civil unrest, volatile political atmosphere – and then add on any everyday stuff… cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and so on… school, work, finances, family…
It’s just a lot right now. A lot of feelings – stress, anger, sadness, confusion to name just a few. LOTS of feelings. As I told my daughter, Susan, the other day, it’s okay to feel all the feels, that’s why we have them! But we have to be careful not to let them pull us too far into the abyss. How do we do that during these troubling times? Well, as the song goes we can count our blessings.
I’m talking about the blessings that come because of these struggles. That’s a hard one, right? What blessings come from pandemic? What blessings come from loss?
Well, in some families, the opportunity to grow closer has come. Families are spending more time together and some have come back to the dinner table where they are talking more and having much needed conversations. Some people are growing closer to their neighbors as we reach out to help one another. Some have found time for old or new hobbies and have discovered new loves – art, music, cooking, reading, puzzles!
But what about loss? Where are blessings are in that? Often, in times of loss, families grow closer as they come together to console, to help one another through it. Perhaps new doors open and new friendships are made.
We often find strength we never knew we had during the struggling times.
I’m not saying the struggling times are good or that they are blessings themselves, I’m just saying we need to keep our eyes open so that good can be found.
Bless to us these struggling times.
May we lean on you, O God, and find blessings even here.
Bless our eyes to see past the pain and confusion.
Bless our lives and may our lives be blessings to those around us. Amen.
If you’d like to read or watch the message this devotional is based on you can do so here.