Some may have heard of the story of Joseph and his colorful coat. In this story we hear about a devout young man who keeps experiencing misfortune after misfortune. We also hear that Joseph had the gift of interpreting dreams. It was through Joseph’s faithfulness, perseverance, and ability to trust that things happen for a reason, that he was able to forgive the situations and the people who wronged him. Joseph even helped the ones who wronged him in the end (for the full Scripture verse, go to https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+37 where Joseph’s story began). The point of all this is something that Joseph himself said to his brothers when they discovered it was him who was a landlord to all of Egypt. We can see from the following Bible verse that Joseph is telling us that there is a definite blessing in all of the difficulties he went through.
“As for you, you mean evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” (Genesis 50:20 – ESV).
In my own life, I often wondered how I would get through another day having to deal with the many appointments for my sons who both have Autism Spectrum Disorder, as well as dealing with the various quirks and habits of my Asperger’s husband, and still maintain a busy schedule at work and at church ministries. In prayer, I sometimes find myself asking God why he allowed me to make these decisions. These sentiments and thoughts, and many others along the same lines were the few that came to my brain when I was earlier in my marriage, and when the boys were both three or four years old.
As my children got older, and as my husband learned to do the communication dance with each other, I realized that my life situation was not a punishment, but rather a blessing. During my younger years, I’d always admired and wished I could be like those women who led very productive, busy, and fulfilling lives. I often wondered what their recipe for success was. Looking back, I realize these women were just like me, but they also learned the lesson that I now know well: You grow by being challenged. Your character becomes strong when faced with hard decisions to make. You become less bitter by finding the blessings in every circumstance – good or bad. I learned to find the blessing in all circumstances.
Through the struggle of having to juggle work, my children’s appointments and therapies, my relationship with my spouse, and making time for God amidst my personal chaos, I learned all I never knew I needed to learn. I learned to be more assertive and to be strong because my children and my spouse need me to be that voice. I learned to be more loving and patient with others because of the struggles I have had in being forced to wait for an answer over the phone, or having to work with undesirable personalities in others. I learned that my value and self-worth are not determined by others opinions of me, but how I feel about myself. I also came to accept that I have a God who is not only my Creator, but also my Father and Who loves me unconditionally.
In Book Five of the book series, The Last Prophet, Raziel’s Revelation, we see one of our recurring main characters learn to turn their negative circumstances into blessings and an opportunity to be reconciled with himself and others. We too can also learn from the negatives and learn to see them as blessings in disguise.
Ever get stuck in traffic when you’re already 15 minutes late, then discovering afterwards that you managed to avoid being a part of the major accident that happened? The blessing was in your delay saving your life. Ever have a huge crush on a guy, only to find out he really liked your best friend and then once they dated for a month finding out that the guy was extremely jealous and physically abusive? The blessing was in his rejection and saving you from a bad relationship. Ever wonder why after 20 faithful years at a company you were laid off, only to find out that the company was bought out and that the business was not doing well economically and considered to be too progressive and the new acquiring company is looking for a more conservative approach to doing business? The blessing was being saved from a miserable work environment while the job was transitioning into something better.
Learning to see the blessings in your negative circumstances or in the moment is a skill that requires a lot of soul searching and letting go of our expectations and control of situations. One way to begin learning this is to be grateful for the things that ARE working well for us – the apparent blessings as opposed to the hidden blessings or the blessings still to come.
Where have you found hidden blessings in dark moments? What are you grateful for today? Comment in the space provided.
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