19 Nov Blessings and Curses
Sometimes we inadvertently reveal in our speech what is really hidden in our hearts.
Case in point: today on Christian radio, I listened to a woman talk about how, as a schoolteacher, God has blessed her this year with a good class. A teacher myself, I understand the ‘blessing’ of a good class, but as a word person, I started thinking about what she really meant. Her well-behaved class is easier to manage and teach than an unruly one, so she ultimately sees it as good. Good, for most people who call themselves Christians, is equivalent to blessing. Good = blessing. Good = easy? Good = what we desire? Good = the life we want? If God blesses us with ‘good’ things, does that mean He curses us with bad?
From a whole lot of Scripture and a whole lot of personal experience, I can tell you unequivocally that God does not curse us who are His children. He does not send us the “bad” as the opposite of the blessing. In actuality, the ‘bad’ often is – or leads to – the blessing itself.
The hard situations of life – the challenging times, the difficult people, the situations we can’t change or fix – these are not the opposites of blessings. These are not curses, though they may feel to be. They are exhibitions of His favor that we can’t yet see as blessings because our timelines are immediate and His favor extends into the unseen.
When I look back to the times I felt ‘cursed,’ I remember desperately wanting God to intervene with blessing. I remember begging for favor and yearning to know why He allowed such hardship for His child. I didn’t see any of it as good, easy, or what I desired. Now, though? I see. Now, I understand that the initial hardship led to the eventual good. The immediate pain allowed for the ultimate joy. The ‘curse’ of the time made way for the ‘blessing’ to come.
None of this is to say that difficulties are enjoyable. We shouldn’t wish for them, and I know firsthand that it’s nearly impossible to count them as joy. But in the midst of them, they become bearable when we remember – and believe – that anything that comes into our lives has met with approval from our Maker. He allowed it, has seen it to the end, and will use it for our good. We can rest in the knowledge that what feels like a curse now is simply a blessing that remains unseen.