His words on that mountain unsettle me. I say I’m so blessed to have this [fill in the blank]. Family. Job. House. Hair. Brownie. Whatever. But a few minutes of that mountainside sermon, and I realize that what I really mean is I am one lucky girl. So fortunate to have the life I have. It takes some digging to discover that blessed goes a whole lot deeper and is a whole lot harder than lucky.
Luck and fortune have nothing to do with the blessing of God.
μακάριος, or makarios, is the word for blessed.
[“the state of one who has become a partaker of God; to experience the fullness of God. It refers to the believer in Christ who is satisfied and secure in the midst of life’s hardships because of the indwelling fullness of the Spirit.”*]
Being blessed has nothing to do with my relationship with this earthly life and everything to do with my relationship with God.
And it’s a slow process to realize that everything is about God. Just everything.
Blessed begins at the cross where I stand spiritually impoverished before the tree where hangs the very fullness of God. And it continues through to my persecution. In between are the steps to becoming. The walk that leads to deeper places in God and to a greater partaking of His character.
As I step into mourning my sin instead of hiding it, and as I mourn others’ sin instead of throwing the first stone, I am blessed.
As I stop resisting God and begin to trust Him, asserting myself and my interests less and submitting myself wholly to Him who is in control of everything, I am blessed.
When I stop hungering for the things of this world, the things that soothe my flesh, and begin to long for what pleases God, to desire His will above anything else, I am blessed.
As I learn that compassion must be active and not passive, that being merciful means I must actually act upon my pity and do something about the needs of others instead of just talking about it, I am blessed.
When I live with my heart open before God and not hidden, allowing Him to cleanse it, not shrinking back, not withholding any part of my heart from His purifying fire, I am blessed.
When I become active in the reconciliation and restoration of others to God, wading into the pain and brokenness of the world around me to actually demonstrate the love and goodness of Jesus, going into the war for people’s souls rather than passively avoiding it, I am blessed.
And when I am shunned, driven away, harassed, denied and threatened not because of who I am, but because of who He is, I am in good company and I am blessed.
Blessed is not lucky, it is hard. It is dying. It is emptying. It is denying. It is going instead of staying, loving instead of hating, lifting up, not pushing down. It is living, not just talking. It is carrying a cross, not wearing one.
Blessed is becoming more like Him and less like me.
*"Greek Thoughts" by Bill Klein, posted at StudyLight.org.