Discovering the real blessing


When we see babies more fascinated by the wrapping or the box than the gift itself, we laugh because we think it’s cute that they don’t understand what the real gift is or its value. But how often do I think/act in the same way? How often do I get more fascinated with and attached to the vehicle of the blessing than the blessing itself? It’s so easy to miss the contents for the packaging!

I’ve often associated the word ‘blessing’ with ‘reward’ or God giving me something I’ve really desired. For e.g., financial or material provision for something I really want to do or get; everything going well – success – with a project/program; connections with people that I’ve been hoping for; healing from an illness or injury; relationships that are going well etc.

I’m discovering more that the real blessing is God meeting the deepest desires of my heart, through the vehicle of these gifts. But I only recognise this, when I take the time to pause, reflect on this purpose of God in the gift and connect with Him in relationship, allowing Him to fulfill his purpose in the gift.

This kind of contemplation/pondering becomes all the more important to get perspective, when the blessing comes to me, wrapped in a package of suffering. If I’m only focused on the ‘packaging’ it’s easy to misunderstand God’s heart for me and miss the blessing in the process. But I’m finding that as I take time to connect with God in the midst of the difficult situation/relationship, I discover how He wants to use even these times of suffering, to touch and fill the desires of my heart, in ways I hadn’t imagined; or indeed wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. And in these places, I find deep joy.

Lord, open the eyes & ears of my heart, so that I can recognise your presence with me, and hear your song of love over me and receive your blessing in every situation that life brings me. Remind me to keep coming to you – the source of every good gift & blessing – and connecting with you in relationship, so that I can receive the blessing of your filling every desire of my heart in this new year!

Explore More

What’s your understanding of the church?

The Bible uses various images to describe the church, to help us understand its many facets. When I came across this meme a few years back, it stayed with me, because it helped me better understand the church as a type of ‘spiritual gym’ which I am a part of, because it’s a space where I can receive God and other people’s help, to keep working on my many dysfunctions and become healthier over time. It also helps overcome false images of the church – like the understanding that it is an exclusive club for those who claim to be perfect or morally superior than others.

Growing in a Relationship of Mercy as couples

Through experiencing my wife’s love when I fail /least deserve it, has made me more grateful for our relationship, because it has taken away the fear of being punished /rejected for my failures. I also feel closer to her as a result. And it has helped me to become more merciful myself.

Witnesses of Jesus’ Resurrection

The theme of ‘witnesses’ – people who’ve experienced something – speaks to something that is really distinctive to the Christian faith. Christianity is not a philosophy – though it can incorporate philosophy; it’s not primarily a mysticism – though it can incorporate mysticism; it’s not a religion that comes welling up out of natural experience – though it can accommodate that. Christianity is about something that happened; and there were witnesses of it. Without that, Christianity falls apart.