Blessings can be painful.
What a seemingly paradoxical statement. I was recently having a late night snack with a great friend and this very topic seemed to rule most of the conversation. Although most of us have experienced our personal painful blessings, I find that I am much like the Israelites and often forget to keep my eyes on the prize during the trek of life. We all need reminders sometimes.
The Israelites are certainly a people who experienced painful blessings, but unfortunately lost sight of the end goal in those painful blessings — which led to losing the blessing! The Israelite’s have a very long story with many different plot twists, so I only want to use their immediate escape from Egypt as the illustration for what’s on my mind.
I wasn’t there, but I feel safe in making the assumption that being freed from the grip of the Egyptian’s (a blessing) was quite painful. First off, while God was at work on Pharaoh, they had to be very patient whilst still enduring slave labor and the hatred of the Egyptian’s. God was moving, but they weren’t. He was making things happen, but they were still in the same old unpleasant position.
When release finally came, they were uprooted and had a very long and mysterious trek ahead of them. I’m sure their feet were sore, I’m sure they were hungry, I’m sure they were tired, and I’m sure they even wondered what in the world they were doing heading off into the crazy unknown!
Then an entire ocean opened up for them in miraculous fashion and their enemies were conquered in an incredibly swift moment. Freedom — blessing.
“You are the one who put me together inside my mother’s body, and I praise you because of the wonderful way you created me. Everything you do is marvelous! Of this I have no doubt. Nothing about me is hidden from you! I was secretly woven together deep in the earth below, but with your own eyes you saw my body being formed. Even before I was born, you had written in your book everything I would do.” (Psalm 139:13-16 CEV)
God wants to part the oceans in our lives. He wants us to be free and inhabit our promised land — which is His personal plan and will for our lives. He has a plan, it just isn’t always easy. Sometimes the toughest part is remembering to stay faithful and patient in the waiting and the unknown, and sometimes the toughest part is just enduring.
It’s my prayer that this serves as an encouragement that God, who knows us all better than we know our own selves, has a plan and that through faithfulness the blessing will come.