Luke 6:20-21 the Message
That first line, “you’re blessed when you’ve lost it all.” Wow, that it hard to wrap my mind around. It is almost impossible to believe.
I will admit, I do not “feel” blessed most of the time. I “feel” cursed, punished and cast far from the banquet table of blessing. Aw…. but feelings cannot dictate truth. Feelings have the irritating ability to lie to us. Another hard concept to understand. Truth is the measuring stick, the plumb line and the blueprint of our lives. Truth is God gave us feelings, to support, sympathize, express our hearts, release anguish and show deep compassion towards others. But feelings and emotions were not created to be the final say so, of our life choices and journey here on earth. Truth was set in place to be that stable guideline and foundation we could build our life on. Feelings and emotions, will waiver and tumble and change, but His truth and promises will remain steady. All this to say, the truth is I am blessed, though I feel I have “lost it all.” Though my feelings may say otherwise today. I am blessed with memories, oh, those treasures. I am blessed with life, purpose and His great love. I am blessed with my children, though there is much struggling there. Most of all I am blessed, to have been forgiven, made new and welcomed as a child of God. There is a lot of comfort in that blessing of belonging and not being completely abandoned and alone.
The verse in Luke above says, “God’s kingdom is there for the finding.” This is a truth blessing, I can lean into. We, here on earth, can only taste and experience a small portion of the “kingdom.” But He promises we will find it. In order to find something, though, we have to be looking for something. Perhaps it means getting up and actually engaging in our journey. Yes, there are times when that journey entails us resting in green pastures. But we also need to “walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” “Finding” means walking and resting alike.
Luke says, “you are blessed when you are ravenously hungry.” This has required my thought on a deeper level. I believe it could mean, we cannot be filled if we are not “ravenous” in our hunger. Ravenous is a desperate kind of hunger, one that seeks nourishment for survival, a hunger that has been deprived for a long time.
“Then you are ready for Jesus’ meal.” So, friends we come to the banquet table, the one Jesus has prepared for us. We come in need and desperate desire to have our starving souls and hearts be filled up. He fills with love, mercy, forgiveness, peace, joy and so much more. And… we are blessed.
Aw… this one has been hard for me, “you are blessed when tears flow freely.” Perhaps it is pride or upbringing or both, but tears have always been hard for me to show. This version of this scripture, is beautiful and frightening. We are blessed when we cry. I have cried a river, privately. But the word “freely” here implies, without reserve. I seem to always be worried about something, where tears are concerned. What people might think of me, that I might appear weak, that I will me avoided, that it will deplete my strength and so on. Yet, what is truth here, that I will be blessed for sharing them freely.
It is hard to think of what a blessing for my tears might look like. But I believe the answer is in the next line, “joy comes with the morning.” The blessing of all this is joy. In our loss, our seeking, our hunger, our place at Jesus table and in our tears… He sends joy, on the wings of morning. Not happiness, but joy.
I haven’t arrived at the answers for this place I am in. Being a widow, means I have lost half my heart, I parent alone and I have no hand to hold onto. But, I am seeking, even when it looks like I am not doing anything. Because, friends, I am hungry. I desperately need the nourishment Jesus is providing. I need to be more then a survivor, I need to be a conqueror and a victor. And… I need to be free of the weight of held back tears. So that I can know blessing, in loss and hunger and tears.