Remember the Blessing

What happened to the sense of being blessed you had?” Gal. 4:15

 

It’s the one line that jumped out more than once as I read Chapters 3 and 4 over and over again asking God to speak to me.

 

I think we all know what it feels like to be striving toward something. The pressure on our shoulders can be great if what we are seeking is attainable and we are pushing ourselves and disciplining ourselves for the purpose of the goal.Most of us also know what it feels like to be striving toward a goal that is unattainable. Trying to meet a deadline and knowing you still have a significant amount of the project to complete in a very small time frame. What a weight is on your shoulders.

 

A good friend and I have processed on more than one occasion the absence of the wonder and awe and appreciation we have since we both had the opportunity to hear the gospel at a very young age. This is a wonderful privilege, yet, in some ways we struggle with remembering what we were saved from.

 

Thankful? Yes. But it doesn’t cause my heart to pulse the way I feel it should.

 

So I’ve asked God to remind me! Remind me what I’ve been saved from and help me live in a way that daily cries out, “Thank you!” from the bottom of my heart.

 

“What happened to the sense of being blessed you had?” Galatians 4:15

 

Paul is speaking to the Galatians who have exchanged the true gospel for something distorted. They have forgotten that the law they were under for the purpose of being justified prior to Christ’s coming is now fulfilled by Christ as the ultimate sacrifice to free us from the law (which points out our sin).

 

We who are Jews by birth and not “Gentile sinners” know that no one is justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ. And we have believed in Christ Jesus so that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law because by the works of the law no human will be justified.” Galatians 2:15-16

 

What heights of love.

What blessed peace.

When fears are stilled,

When strivings cease.

 

I don’t really know what it feels like to be in need of something for survival without the means to attain it.

 

When John was in Texas on the annual missions trip with his students this past spring, he commented on how eager a number of homeless people were to accept the gift of salvation. One homeless man, who was already a believer, told him,

 

“I’m not homeless! I have everything! This world is not my home…it’s not your home either if you believe in Jesus Christ!”

 

I wonder if Paul was thinking back on a time when striving had not yet ceased when he said,

 

 “I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in every situation …” Phil. 4:12

 

I don’t know that I fully remember what it is like to be in need and while that is a wonderful life to live, it’s also why I often forget the sense of blessing.

 

I know what its like to strive in the little things. In college, I knew that when I had a test to take, a class to attend, and a paper to write all on the same day with very little margin, I hoped to feel the burden of busyness lifted, like when school would be cancelled on a snow day.  Not accomplishing these things in the time frame necessary would mean I am at fault for not planning ahead or being more proactive. There would have been something I could have done to prevent the outcome. But when the duties are relieved from my shoulders I sit back, take a deep breath and let a sense of peace wash over me. The burden is lifted.

 

In such a very small way, this reminds me of so many perfectly worded songs.

 

What heights of love, what depths of peace.

When fears are stilled.

When strivings cease.

 

Or the Christmas song John and I were recently asked to sing.

 

God rest ye merry gentlemen

Let nothing you dismay.

Remember Christ the Savior was born on Christmas day.

To save us all from Satan’s power

when we were gone astray

 

Oh tidings of comfort and joy!

Comfort and joy!

Oh tidings of comfort and joy!

 

The version we are singing is by Jason Ingram and Meredith Andrews. The climax of the song is a declaration that he has come.

 As I practiced these lines with John, I was holding our 6 month old daughter. She loves music and whenever she hears it, she looks toward it with wonder in her eyes. She watched my face as I sang.  She was listening.  As I sang the chorus, our eyes met and suddenly what I was proclaiming became new and fresh as I told her the message of salvation for the first time.

 

He has come for us, this Jesus.

He’s the hope for all mankind.

He has come for us, this Jesus.

Born to give us life.

 

Whenever I heard that song, as a kid, I pictured a bunch of jolly large men singing carols outside of Macy’s. But those merry gentlemen ( in the song) really portray me more than anything. Christmas time gives me more anxiety than any other time of year. And I’m guessing I’m not the only one. I think about all of us rushing about trying to check everything off our lists…get ready for every party…buy gifts for all the appropriate people…

 

Rest.

 

Remember the goal that was once unattainable and realize it is now ours through faith in Jesus.

 

Rest and remember the blessing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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