Jesus loves me.  He listens to me when I cry out to Him.  He could live anywhere, but He chose our hearts.  Because of that, if all I had were bread and water, I could still say, “All this and Jesus, too!”

                Sometimes, though, when life seems most difficult, I find myself almost whining to God and begging for His help to improve my situation.  I want to be blessed with good things, not the troublesome times.

                Of course, most often when I feel pressed down, I try to work things out myself before finally giving up in frustration. Self-dependence seems to be my root problem.  I don’t want to depend on anyone.  I want to be independent, do my own thing, go my own way.  Too late I remember that Jesus was the total opposite of that, as John 5:19 says. 

                So my independent self thinks, “What possible good can come of this?”  Usually, my answer to that is “Nothing,” until I calm down and try to listen to divine deliberation.

                Frequently, I wonder why God would have me go through those arduous times.  He knows how to solve them and in His time, He will.  I have to trust it will work out for good, but why make me go through them or let the events come on me at all?

                If I could learn to take worries to Jesus and leave them there, I could learn to trust Him and that would lead to seeing circumstances as opportunities to bring new meaning to my life.  It may change my perspective toward trials.

                Recently, Dusti Randall proposed to a group of us two ideas that were foreign to me.  First, Dusti said that now she can see that her mother’s death four years ago was a blessing because it made her lean in to God.  She has matured in strength as well as tenderness and compassion.  She has joy because she relies on God more and knows that even when she is lonely, she is never alone. 

                Could I ever say with honesty that my husband’s death four years ago was a blessing?  Have I grown in the last four years in the ways Dusti has?

                Dusti also suggested that the loss of eyesight for Samson (Judges 13-16) proved to be a blessing for Israel because then Samson quit following beautiful women and worked on his connection to God.  Samson had been confident in his own strength and abilities.  His capture was his greatest blessing!  He lost his strength when his hair was cut, but he also lost his weakness when they took his eyes.  His hair grew back, but not his sight.  His weakness was removed, but his strength returned and with it a new, deeper relationship with God.  Humbled, he relied on God instead of his own strength.  He was then able to bring about his greatest victory over the enemies of his people.

                Never had I given thought to losing eyesight as a blessing, but for Samson, it may have been.

                When in a position of struggle, what might God be trying to remove from me so that my relationship with Him could return or improve?  Would losing something I am holding on to strengthen my love and growth in things eternal?

                Despite the trials I face, if I look for the blessings in them, I might realize that I am indeed blessed beyond measure when God uses what I consider difficulties to bring about  good results.

                To be able to believe that, I have to define blessings as not just the good things in life, but also the difficult events.  May God grant a better attitude toward unusual events.


Joyce Broyles is a retired High School Library Teacher and resides in Jennings, LA.