Last week I mentioned how Gray's sermon got my theological mind spinning, but this week it was a spontaneous conversation that I had with my wife Debbie. I was thinking out loud with her about finding a topic for today's reflections. What ensued was a theological give and take that lasted close to an hour as we mused about whether faith in God was simple or complex. Of course, faith is both simple and complex; it's not an either/or proposition. At times faith is simple like child-like faith or a letting go faith and other times faith is complex like a "what does God want me to do?" search for meaning and purpose. Faith is well, simply complex.
During our faith talk, Debbie offered a blessing that I have heard her share with our children when they are struggling with the perplexities of what they want to do with their lives. With motherly assurance, she says, "Remember, nobody will get God's blessings that are meant for you."
What a simple blessing, yet so profound. Remember, nobody will get God's blessings meant for you. At times, I need to be wrapped in this assurance of faith like an embrace that both allows me to slump into the loving arms of God as well as straightens my backbone to ready me for the next battle. This blessing has both an in the moment sense of relief and a forward looking trust in God's purposes for our lives.
As I was walking along the back parking lot at church toward my office, I was simply complex attributes of faith and the in the moment and looking to the future quality of the blessing. I walked right past a blooming azalea when the day's talk came into focus for me. See if you can notice it in the picture I took.
I almost missed it in my hurry; God's blessing meant for me in that moment. See the oak tree branches and leaves? It was planted close to 20 years ago. The azalea was planted a few years ago. The building behind them is a work in progress. I wonder what will blossom from its growth; such a simple moment whose complexities are under construction.
Prayer for Today
God, grant us the eyes to see your blessings you have placed in our lives. Fill us with rich hope that renews faith and grants us a bounce in our steps. Amen.