What does it mean to be blessed? We say that we're a blessed nation, constantly thanking God for our many blessings and praying for other people who we think are suffering or somehow in need of a "blessing." Sometimes I wonder if we're as blessed as we think. We see refugee's in war ravaged places who are starving and have only the sparse clothes on their backs but what we don't see or understand is that these people have a blessing WE don't. We just celebrated Thanksgiving...how thankful were you? Was it just another day? just another opportunity to over eat? or was it manna from heaven? Remember the story of the Israelite's in the desert? They were fed "manna" that was new everyday. There were a couple of reasons for that, one of which was so that nobody could horde it... also, because it's our nature as people to turn our back on God when we have what we need and God knew that. In order for them to continually experience the love and blessing it was necessary for them to be kept humble so that they wouldn't forget or confuse the source of the blessing. God was blessing them by keeping them close to Him! God was blessing them by teaching them humility, God was blessing them by teaching them trust and dependence...We're so incredibly blessed in this country to have so many church's and the freedom to worship God in the way we see fit. We dress up in our Sunday best and listen to preachers talk about how we're not the church we should be. We kinda feel bad for a minute or two but it's easy enough to brush that aside and contemplate what to eat for lunch or think to ourselves "How perfect! we must deserve each other because you're not the minister you should be either" Meanwhile, somewhere in Guatemala people are being delivered from demons and all kinds of disease, healed from sicknesses,truly brought into the presence of the Lord! These people may not have a three bedroom house or a buffet of food to pick and choose over but what they do have is a real relationship with Christ! They've been in his presence, they'll never be the same...whats the difference between us and them? They're believing on Christ for everything, they've got no other "safety net" to catch them, it's absolutely a matter of life and death! That's a right here and right now blessing not a "Lord, please continue to bless me and my family so that we don't have to find out you're really all that we need!" kind of blessing!
I think that there needs to be a drastically different approach to the evangelistic movement here in the U.S. We need to be treated like the spiritually poor people we are! We need to be given a crash course in honesty about ourselves and where we are. If we could somehow strip away all of the "window dressings" and our "prosperity" to reveal the truth perhaps then we might actually be "blessed." If we could lay down our pride long enough to bend a knee before God and cry a few repentant tears we might experience forgiveness. Perhaps if we went through another "great depression" we might rediscover what it means to be thankful, to be dependent, and then, having "gotton over" ourselves...experience the love and blessing our Heavenly Father longs to give us!