Worship Wednesday- Blessings
So, let's get real for a minute. Have you ever had a panic attack? I don't mean a moment of stress where your heart races a bit and you need to collect your thoughts. I mean a full-on, you can't move, catatonic on the floor, staring at a spot on the wall just to stay sane because your mind is firing off scenarios, memories, and false hopes like fireworks at Disney World. If you haven't, count yourself blessed. My first one came in late 2017 with many more to follow. They would come on unexpectedly; sometimes at home making a sandwich, sometimes unloading groceries, even once while driving. Thankfully I was almost home and was able to find a safe place. The most inconvenient one was on Thanksgiving with family over, although there's really never a good time for it.
What I found was that my mind, left unchecked, would start to paint a picture of the world around me that wasn't true. Doubts about my spouse, my church, my friends, and especially my future would start tapping on the glass wall of protection around my fragile heart. Eventually, like a windshield under a barrage of hail stones, or a levy under too much pressure, it would eventually splinter, then break, allowing the flood to come in. What made it so difficult to deal with was that all the doubts and horrible ideas were true! My spouse was cheating on me. I was asked to leave my church. I didn't have a job. It was possible I'd never get a job. I might lose my home. The truth of what was happening soon turned to speculation about what would happen, and the dam would burst.
Once the flood came in I was useless. But one thing that helped was this song. It was part of my healing regimen, as it were. Instead of focusing on the unknowns and the broken promises and the horrible things going on that I didn't even want to know about, it brought me back to the truth of God's Word.
Blessing sometimes comes through an unexpected check in the mail or a word of encouragement from a friend. But often it comes as we endure the heavy, yet loving, hand of God in our lives. How many saints experienced God's blessing in this way. Look at Joseph, Moses, Hannah, David, Jeremiah, or even Jesus Himself. All went through intense trial for the purpose of eventual blessing. I believe God is more interested in my sanctification and Christ-likeness than in my temporary happiness. I know I wouldn't be where I am today without those sleepless nights, the tears, and the panic attacks. They were all "mercies in disguise" as the chorus of this song reminds us.
What kind of blessings are you looking for? A new job? A nicer house? A happy family? Friends? A spouse? Where on your list is being like Jesus or knowing God? Are you willing to ask God to do whatever it takes to bring you closer to Him? I don't know that I would have, knowing what this past season has been like. Would I have been willing to give up my wife, my church, my job, and my friends? Honestly, I don't know that I would have. I'd like to think I would have given it all up. Thankfully, God didn't wait for me. He initiated, as He always does, and His timing was and is perfect. I can say without a shadow of doubt that I do know God more. I've experienced His love like never before. Yes, I still struggle with sin and doubt. I still have those sleepless nights of wondering about the future. But I know my ultimate future is worth the struggle.
I love the final phrase of this song. Laura writes: "What if my greatest disappointments, or the aching of this life, is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy..." I think we could use a bit more of these kinds of blessings. Too often I find myself satisfied with this world, thinking my thirst is quenched only to be thirsty again later. But a true longing for heaven, a true thirst for the secured future of eternal life with Jesus, that is where these kinds of blessings really pay off. That thirst is why I haven't had a panic attack in... well, thankfully I can't recall my last one. It's hard to be beaten down with the troubles of this world when you know this world isn't your home.
"...In this world you will have troubles. But take heart! I have overcome the world." - Jesus, from John 16:33
by Laura Story
We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things
'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise
We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe
When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not our home
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise