Blessings From Above

I used to think that anything that made you happy was a blessing… until I met Nanay

Psalm 128:1-6

Reference: v.4 Yes, this will be the blessing for the man who fears the Lord. (TNIV Bible)

Explore: Everyone has a different idea of what a blessing truly is. To a sick person they would see health as a blessing, to a barren couple they would see children as a blessing, and to a poor family they would see money as a blessing.

I used to think that anything that made you happy was a blessing… until I met Nanay.

I was in the Philippines and had been meeting many people who were living in the slums. There were children running around with only a dirty singlet on, there were men lying on stairwells drunk in the middle of the day and old women who only had a couple of teeth left in their mouths.

Everywhere I looked there were people with no homes, no health system, no education and no hope. Their future looked completely desolate.

Nanay was one of the women who lived in this slum. She blended in well with all the other women who had very little to their name. She had not been ‘blessed’ to be born into a developed country, she had not been ‘blessed’ with a job, and she was not ‘blessed’ to be immune to all the diseases that were carried around in the slum.

Nanay lived in a one room shack with her 8 family members. They lived, financially, each day at a time. Most of their money they put into food and medicine for her grandchildren. She had one pair of shoes and a gummy smile. However, when she smiled, she lit up the room.

Nanay was a bright spark in the community. She laughed, she loved, she cared, and she consoled. She was a key part of a church plant that had been bringing the Good News to Nanay’s community.

Nanay loved the Lord and He had blessed her greatly. Her blessings did not come in the form of wealth and belongings, as I don’t believe these are the greatest blessings God could bestow upon us. Nanay’s blessings came from having hope in a bright future and giving love to every single person she would meet.

Application: When we consider God’s blessings we often think of it like a list of presents we’d like from Santa. However, I don’t believe that is how God shares His blessings.

God has blessed Nanay in a slum in the Philippines just as much as He has blessed me – as I sit here behind my Apple Mac in my gorgeous home with running water and a full pantry. God’s blessings to us are not based on a financial figure or only flow when everything is A-OK.

God’s blessings are all around us. They are things that help us to connect to Him. There are times when a blessing actually comes by way of a trial as it reminds us to hold onto the greatest Saviour we have in our lives.

We must not look at blessings as feelings that make us content, but anything that helps us to build our relationship with God is truly a blessing from above.

Prayer: Lord, You desire to bless each person with Your love and grace. Thank You for being so generous with Your blessings and may we strive to look for ways that we can bless others. Amen.

What is a recent blessing you have received from God?

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This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.

1 comment:

Lucas DawnNovember 16, 2012 at 3:35 AMReply

Yes, we need to discern what are true blessings today. Ps. 128 mentions blessings like the fruit of the labor of one’s hands, the fruit of one’s wife (children like olive shoots), the prosperity of Jerusalem, seeing one’s children’s children, and peace upon Israel. These blessings reflect the covenant of God (through Moses) with Israel: if Israel keeps God’s commands, it will be blessed with the promised land, prosperity, children, and peace.

But the blessings of Nanay reflect the different blessings of the New Testament, where Jesus tells his disciples, blessed are the poor, for yours is the kingdom of God (Lk. 6:20). While the rich think they are blessed by God (it is “biblical”), Jesus (and the N.T.) would disagree (as in Lk. 6:24). A loving and merciful Nanay is blessed with the Spirit given to Jesus’ disciples, and she will receive mercy (rather than judgment) from God in the end. The fruit of the Spirit, not the fruit of the land or mothers, is now the true blessing from God.