Would you consider yourself #blessed? Do the people around you tell you that you are? What about your best friends? So many times we see this word following statements of joy, of success and prosperity but do we even know what the standalone word means, without a hashtag attached to it?
Today we've got two verses to look at, instead of one. You're in for a treat! Proverbs 31:28-29 (NIV) says this,
'Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also,
and he praises her:
"Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all."
But these verses bring up two questions for me:
1. What does it even mean to be called 'blessed'?
2. What does it mean that her kids are saying this to her?
So what does it mean to be blessed? Is it when your circumstances suddenly align in a way that could only be orchestrated by heaven? Or is it a good way to humble-brag about all the cool things that are happening in your life?
On the Desiring God website, I read a blog titled, 'What Does It Really Mean To Be #Blessed?' and it said this,
'What is blessing, then? Scripture shows that blessing is anything God gives that makes us fully satisfied in him. Anything that draws us closer to Jesus. Anything that helps us relinquish the temporal and hold on more tightly to the eternal. And often it is the struggles and trials, the aching disappointments and the unfulfilled longings that best enable us to do that.'
So this woman is recognised as someone who is close to God - despite her circumstances. But why it's important that her children are telling this?
Well plainly put - it is important what her kids and husband say about her because they spend more time with her than anyone else. They are led by her example and are taught by her. They see her in all seasons and are directly affected by her actions throughout each of them. That's an easy one to figure out.
But the important thing to note here is that her children are able to call her blessed because they understand the meaning of the word - that she holds on to God's goodness, when life throws baked beans* her way.
*I hate baked beans. If someone threw beans at me, I would be severely upset.
Okay, so I understand that maybe some of you don't have a husband or a boyfriend, let alone children. But don't you have people in your life, family, friends, church, work associates?
So, what do these people say about you? Do they recognise the importance of being blessed? Of drawing close to God and finding your fulfilment in Him, despite your circumstances? Do they encourage you to lean in to Him, when it looks like your world is falling apart and people are throwing baked beans at you?
It's great to be an example to those around us, of someone who is living a God-sustaining, blessed life. But it's vital to have people around you who understand what being blessed really means - people who will show you how it's done and encourage you, when the baked beans of life come flying.
And to completely snatch the words from the blog I mentioned earlier,
'God’s greatest blessing always rests in God himself.
When we have that, we are truly #blessed.'