“When he came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed them. A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said, “Be clean.” Immediately he was cured of his leprosy.” (Matthew 8:1-3 NIV)
Blessing. The word gets thrown around a lot. We bless someone when they sneeze. We ask it of our parents when we marry. We covet God’s blessing too, but what are the terms? Does God bless? How? When and why?
My concept of God had often been that He was able but not necessarily willing.
I mean I knew He could do X, Y, and Z. He was after all omnipotent.
But—willing? I wasn’t so sure.
Did His willingness depend on my behavior? Like Santa, if I’d been really good, would He come through in a pinch?
Or did my sin knock me out of contention in the favor department?
Turns out, often God’s willingness has nothing to do with me.
God desires to bless His kids. Period. That’s how He rolls. That doesn’t mean He winks at sin or that He hands out ponies or a Lexus just because we want one.
It means He’s a giver by nature, and He chooses to give to us.
It’s a concept that’s kinda’ hard for me to wrap my head around. Performance was ingrained in me early on, and it’s taken years to shed. I expected the worst from God because I knew that’s what my sin deserved.
What I’ve discovered is a God who passionately loves His children and who is ready and willing to bless their socks off.
And blessings range from gorgeous sunsets to two tickets to a Chris Botti concert at Carnegie Hall.
I’ve seen a practically brand new car priced ridiculously low because it sat on the lot for months. They couldn’t move it because of the color—the exact shade of blue our daughter wanted.
I have seen answered prayer, timely words of encouragement, and confirmation of decisions.
I’ve seen God work a miracle (salesman’s own words) on a beautiful engagement ring for an enlisted sailor at the low end of the pay scale.
I’ve learned—God is willing.
Willing to answer.
Willing to heal.
Willing to encourage.
Willing to say no to something small we want for something He has that’s greater.
Willing to open doors.
Willing to close them.
Willing to bless.
Just for fun. Just because.
That’s how He rolls.
Our challenge? To receive His blessings with a grateful heart and to go and do likewise.
Look for His blessing this week, moments when God winks and you grin in surprise. Point them out to those around you. Write them down so you don’t forget.
Teach your kids to do the same.
Then look for opportunities to bless others. Encourage the kids to follow your example.
Make it a family challenge. A blessing throw-down. A gratitude gauntlet.
Are you willing?
What is your view of God? Is it spot-on with what Scripture says or is it perhaps a shadow of people in your life?
Is it easy or difficult to see blessing? Why?
Does a voice tell you that you are not worthy to receive God’s blessing? (Hint: It’s not God.)
What attitudes are you cultivating in your children regarding who God is and how He works?
What is one thing you will do this week to open your heart to God and to others?
God’s willingness often has nothing to do with me. Click to tweet.
God desires to bless His kids. Period. That’s how He rolls. Click to tweet.
Our challenge? To receive His blessing with a grateful heart and to go and do likewise. Click to tweet.
Look for His blessing this week, moments when God winks and you grin in surprise. Click to tweet.
Make blessing others a family challenge. A blessing throw-down. A gratitude gauntlet. Click to tweet.