I continued in my study through Wendy's commentary on Ephesians this morning and am really enjoying some of the details she draws out. I don't have the book in front of me to give any direct quotes, but particualry the Lord convicted my heart this morning of the way I've been looking for his blessings. Ephesians 1:3 says 'Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places' (ESV).
God continually blesses me beyond my comprehension, but so often I'm looking in the wrong places for it. Paul says that he blesses us with spiritual blessings. I realized this morning, just how much of that I've overlooked over the last year and half. Chris had been in a job with little income coming in and we purposefully chose for him to tough it out, looking forward to that income growing. And while it did, that growth was slower than expected and put us in some pretty precarious financial situations. I did not see God's blessings very easily during this time. Now, God provided.... we never went hungry, always made it to work on what gas we had, and really never suffered. God was good to us. But it was often difficult for me to feel 'blessed'. Mostly I think I was just frustrated wondering why on earth a good God was letting us go through this time of struggle. I knew that God was good and that this situation would be to our benefit, but I think I was looking for the material blessings, and even though I was trying to look for them, totally missing the spiritual ones! Having experienced this season of little, I know I will have more empathy with others who struggle financially in the future where in the past I might have been more unkind (at least in my heart). I know that God has shown me He IS good, even in the hard times. I don't have to wonder if He is pouring out his wrath against me. He has already poured it out on His Son! (Thank you Elyze Fitzpatrick for helping me to understand that in Because He Loves Me!). I have never been good with managing my or our family's finances, but after this difficult season, I'm ready to live within the means God has has given me and be thankful for that means, however big or small it may be.
There are so many other lessons learned and things I will carry on with me and maybe, just maybe these are the spiritual blessings that God has been granting me through what was one of the most difficult seasons of my life. When I see in Scripture that God blesses us, I need to look for the spiritual blessings. They are so much greater than anything material He could give me!