God is real.
He is very, very real!
And more than that, He is personable and approachable; and He loves nothing more than to shower us with blessings: “Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!” (Ps. 31:19 ESV); “blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.” (Proverbs 16:20b ESV)
Are His blessings always the same?
Absolutely not. He knows us so intimately that He can “tailor make” each blessing to be something that speaks directly to each of our hearts.
Don’t believe it?
A friend who lost her husband a couple of years ago shared this story with me recently: She loves turkeys and she and her husband always raised turkeys on their property. The turkeys loved her husband and would follow him around. When my friend returned home from the hospital the day her husband passed away, a wild turkey was sitting in front of her garage. My friend took great comfort in this. Months later, when the grief wasn’t as raw and she could see beyond it a bit better, she realized that this was God’s way of reaching out to her to comfort her in her hour of greatest need. She then shared that she had been going through a very rough period of time over the past few days, and that every day a wild turkey has come onto her property where she could see it.
Now I might not have put any meaning to this, because I’m not a turkey enthusiast. Rather, I love irises. One of the first things I did after coming to my new home was to plant an iris bed. Unfortunately, they don’t usually bloom their first year; but I had a real treat this past spring when 5 of my 6 irises burst into vibrant bloom. The 6th had only been put in the previous fall, so I wasn’t surprised when it didn’t bloom. This past summer and fall season were, indeed, incredibly stressful, and this culminated in a week of stress so high that I was constantly feeling on the verge of tear. Imagine my astonishment to go outside — in the middle of October! — and find that my 6th iris was in full bloom! I realized that this was God reaching out to me in a personal, special way that only I would understand, to tell me how much He loves me and wants to help me through the stress.
I could go on with countless other true stories of God reaching out to people in the hour of their greatest need with a message of comfort that only they will understand… The problem is, we don’t often even recognize these little “miracles” as God’s blessings. After all, my friend lived out in the bush. Wild turkeys frequent that area of our region. And my irises are supposed to be “reblooming” — not that any of them have ever had a fall crop of flowers, but technically that are supposed to bloom in the fall. Maybe my fall iris was simply that it was too young to bloom in the spring!
And so we reason away each and every sign of God’s loving hand on our lives. We forget that, ““Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17 ESV)!
Another problem is that we often don’t even see these gifts. When our focus is so pinpointed on whatever problem is overwhelming us, it can be hard to even see the “turkeys” and “fall irises” that God places in our lives!
January is now well upon us. The festivities of the Christmas season are past, and much of the north is covered in layers of snow. Besides the winter “blues”, each of us is also encased in our own problems and stresses. Maybe they are financial in nature. Perhaps we don’t have adequate shelter or clothing. For some, there’s been a death in the family… Whatever our struggles may be, I challenge you to open your spirit to God. He knows what you are going through, and He is there, pouring out blessings upon you: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction…” (2 Cor. 1:3-4a ESV).
Remember, no matter what it is you’re going through: God knows how to speak comfort into your heart and is doing so with every opportunity. I challenge you to watch for His blessings. Maybe it will be the blue jay that comes to your feeder. Perhaps it will be finding a lost photo that means the world to you. It could possibly be a surprise phone call or visit, or your neighbour dropping by to shovel your drive. Whatever it is, recognize the hand of God reaching out to bless and comfort and encourage you. Accept the gift as such, and praise His holy name for loving us in such an individual, personable way!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart
Author, Moderator, Acting Director, Answers2Prayer Ministries.