There was a time when I lived folded deep between blessings. They met me at the end of every road and found me when I wasn’t even looking for them. These blessings insulated my doubts and fears with the soft reassurance of answered prayers. The bricks of life’s path seemed to effortlessly fall into place and the way was illuminated with bright light. My prayers came quickly and easily and my “amens” were muttered with the distinct accent of expectation. It was easy to know that God was good when I measured His goodness by His gifts, while I was blissfully lost in counting blessings. I was safely wedged among goodness on the painless pursuit to Him, and I knew that I was blessed.
But sometimes so much light can blind, and gazing towards gifts can lead to losing sight of the Giver. My whispered prayers no longer flow with such ease. Now my prayers arise from deeper, hidden, secret corners within, and I pull them out, hand over hand, with the saving rope of the Spirit. The bricks on my path are now scattered shards of clay, and the only light that I see is the dim one just before me that leads me to take the next step. Yet as I lift up my knee to stretch my leg farther, to find my next footing, I cannot shake the presence of the One who keeps me walking. I look around and see new blessings, new gifts, birthed with less ease, but received with greater joy.
I can no longer measure His goodness by the gifts that He gives to me, but by the Love that He gave for me. When I find myself grasping for the comforts of my old place, wedged among mounds of gifts and looking for small assurances that I am blessed, I find my sure footing at the sound of His voice calling my name. Surely all good gifts flow from the good hand of God, but because He names me Beloved, though I walk along a dimly lit path, I find that all I have left to give is thanks. I know that as good gifts come and go to the rhythm of a broken world, He calls me again and again. For to be called Beloved, whether wedged between gifts, or searching for any sign of assurance, is to be called Blessed indeed.