For years I struggled with the word “blessing”. It seems so often people use that word to describe when life was going good, and they are “blessed” by God. But Jesus says something quite a bit different. So here’s Jesus, standing on a hill, saying all these weird things, like “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Or, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” Or, how about this one, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

So what is Jesus saying, you are blessed when life sucks? You are blessed when things aren’t going great?

A number of years ago, because we wanted our kids to have a curriculum that embodies our spirit, we felt the need to write a curriculum of our own. We started with the Beatitudes.

And you know what I learned? The essence of the word “blessed” in the Beatitudes is “God is with you when…” God is with you when you feel deep loss, or are depressed, or when life is hard. You are blessed because God is with you! How great is that? To see a blessing in this light is quite different from how it is used in our Christian culture today. Give more money, God will bless you, do the right things, God will bless you, be a good Christian, God will bless you.

If the heart of blessing is God’s presence, then there is nothing we can do to merit it, it just is. I have a plaque on my wall that says, “Bidden or Not Bidden, God is Present.” We can engage that reality or deny it, but it is still a reality. And when we live in this reality of blessing, we get to be the blessing of God to others. Because our presence blesses too! What a kind gift God has given us, the opportunity to engage God’s life on this earth by blessing others. There’s nothing better.

In God’s Blessing With You,