Friday, July 18, 2014

Alternative Blessings

Yesterday I shared about how much I love contests. I recently entered a writing contest. If I won, I would receive a publishing package worth almost $10,000! I submitted my story on the deadline day, and for the next two days I waited for that email or phone call that would tell me I was the Grand Prize Winner! After all, my story was good

Well, as you might imagine, I didn't win. I was a little disappointed, but not really. While I'd hoped I'd win, I also knew that thousands of people entered this contest, and the chances of winning were pretty slim. Of course, someone has to win, but I was more prepared not to win than I was to actually win. I don't have a book together yet anyway. It's not the right time.

Meanwhile, I got a call from the library...I had won a $25 gift certificate to a local restaurant as part of the "adult summer reading program" (I'm such a geek). I was a random winner, but a winner nonetheless! And I wasn't expecting it!

After I picked up my gift certificate, I went to the supermarket where somehow I received a free case of soda. I insisted that I'd been charged incorrectly and pointed it out on my receipt to the cashier, but she was equally insistent that it was right. Another unexpected blessing.

A double blessing...

Isaiah 61 talks of how the Lord will rebuild, restore and renew...and so they will receive a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs (Is 61:7). Isaiah was talking about actual land here---and the promises are to the Jews who were returned out of captivity, but there is a spiritual connotation to this as well. When we return to God from our spiritual captivity, He rebuilds, restores and renews our lives.

Not only does He bless us, but he gives us, as my "friend" Joyce Meyer likes to say, "Double for our trouble."

I don't think I did anything special to deserve these unexpected blessings. I think that God just wanted to bless me to remind me that He loves me and He always, always, ALWAYS takes care of me and does what's best for me. It wasn't my time to win that contest. Besides, it was a Christian writer's contest and I'm sure everyone was praying to win. How does God decide?

It's all in our attitude. Sometimes we have to look for the blessing. It might be something tangible, like an unexpected gift certificate or a free case of soda; but sometimes it's the smile of a baby or the laughter of a child. A cool, sunny July morning instead of one so humid, it's like walking through gravy. An ocean breeze. Flowers. A job. Feet that allow us to move. Legs that swing out of bed to stand on those feet. Breath. Life. Freedom. Food. A home.

The blessings abound. They're all around us. Sometimes we just have to look for them instead of giving in to our disappointments. It's all in our attitude.

Go out today and find some "alternative blessings." And when you do, share them with others. Be a blessing to someone else today.

Blessings Along the Path,

Song of the Day
Blessings (Laura Story)

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