- Posted by Edith Ohaja
- On January 9, 2019
- 58 Comments
Some time last year, I was led to write a short story. It concerned a young Christian woman who was depressed because she felt she wasn’t receiving “favour”. She was unhappy because, in her opinion, she was giving but wasn’t receiving. As she was beefing in prayer about this, a neighbour brought her five succulent mangoes. She loved mangoes very much but often missed them during their season due to constant official trips. It was not until she finished eating the mangoes that she realised they were God’s answer to her prayer for favour. She wanted an SUV, wads of cash and expensive gifts but she got mangoes, plucked free from her neighbour’s compound.
You can read that funny story, if you wish, to get a better picture of the girl’s circumstances, the event that precipitated her depression, her complaints to God and her reaction to the gift she got. The story generated many responses from readers on Christians’ expectations with regard to blessings from God and the whole idea of ‘big’ and ‘small’ blessings.
That reminds me of another post in which I joyfully recalled some long-held desires which God fulfilled for me after many years. One reader did not understand the point of the post, which is that God never forgets our prayers and longings. She basically said I was impressed with little things. But is any blessing really little?
If you ask me, when it comes to the blessings of God, nothing is small and worth disregarding. When we have something, we take it for granted. But when we lose it or see someone who lacks it, we realise how valuable it is.No blessing of God is small and worth disregarding. Click To Tweet
Take breathing for instance. Most of us aren’t even aware of that physiological process as it goes on in our bodies. Air moves in and out of our nostrils smoothly and soundlessly. We probably haven’t ever thanked God specifically for the ability to breathe, an ability that could end our lives in a few minutes if we lose it. Then we visit a sick relative hooked to a respirator and voila, we discover how essential the ability to breathe unassisted is.
The same thing applies to quantity. When we are well-to-do, hundreds of thousands or even millions in currency mean nothing to us. But when our finances go south, we consider even small denominations precious.
Our valuation of our blessings should also benefit from the fact that we contribute little or nothing to them. Most times, it’s God’s doing from start to finish just like the Lord Jesus illustrated in one of his parables with the farmer who planted some seed.
“He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how.” – Mark 4:27 (ESV)
It’s not our place to grumble based on our understanding and expectations of size but to say, “Thank You, Lord!”
There is also a hierarchy wrongly built by some Christians based on the nature of blessings. Ever notice that most testimonies in church are about physical and material blessings? I would imagine that the story will be the same for prayer lists. Most of the topics would probably be about money, health, job, education, relationship issues …. Spiritual attainments though not often celebrated are very important and our spiritual state facilitates our receipt and sustenance of physical and material blessings. So a greater desire to know God and a closer walk with Him, for example, are not inferior to securing a multimillion Naira contract even though the latter testimony will likely gain more applause in church.
“21. Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee. 22. Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth, and lay up his words in thine heart. 24. Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust, and the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brooks. 25. Yea, the Almighty shall be thy defence, and thou shalt have plenty of silver. 26. For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God. 27. Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee … 28. Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways.” – Job 22:21, 22, 24-28
This insight on the significance of spiritual blessings informed my thanksgiving for what God did for me in 2018 as recounted in the post below.
(Related: Thanking God For 2018)
What matters, therefore, is having what we need when we need it, not how ‘small’ it is, and appreciating what we have even though it seems to be always available or common as we often say. Remember that faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains (Matthew 17:20).
I believe that God has no trouble blessing any of us with loads of cash, cars, houses and what have you. After all, the earth is His and the fullness thereof (Psalm 24:1). But I don’t think He would do it just because we asked. He would give us what we need at the right time and viewed through His transmundane eyes, blessings aren’t reckoned as big or small but just right for the receivers. I’m not saying that God is oblivious of size or other rankings people may obsess over, like prestige or cost, but that His main consideration in apportioning blessings is none of those. Rather He considers the blessings’ appropriateness to the receivers. The same principle He uses in distributing spiritual gifts applies to everything else He furnishes us with.
“11. All of the gifts are produced by one and the same Spirit. He gives them to each person, just as he decides.” – 1 Corinthians 12:11 (NIRV)
We see this played out also in the account of Jacob’s blessing of His children before his death.
“All these are the twelve tribes of Israel. This is what their father said to them as he blessed them, blessing each with the blessing suitable to him.” – Genesis 49:28 (ESV)In God's transmundane eyes, blessings aren't big or small but just right for the receivers. Click To Tweet
Beloved, look at yourself often and thank God for you- all of you. Thank Him for all you have and do (your livelihood and functional capacities). For what you consider small or common isn’t really so in fact. All that matters is that God in His mercy is taking care of you.
“9. The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works…16. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.” – Psalm 145:9, 16
(Related: So Much To Thank God For)
The scriptures used in this post are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible except where otherwise stated.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers
Holy Bible, New International Reader’s Version®, NIrV®
Copyright© 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica, Inc.®
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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