Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Inconvenient Blessings

“He hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world.”

Ephesians 1:4b KJV

In our rural community, we occasionally experience power outages during severe winter weather. We prepare by placing ice bags in our freezer, and no one lifts the lid. Then, our family pulls out the Monopoly board, and we play via candlelight. We hunker down next to the fireplace, and we cook meals on our gas stove. We can go for days like this and remain relatively happy.

But wait, that was yesteryear. Our methods have changed…

This time, when the power went out, we opened the freezer multiple times. We sat in our easy chairs and watched television. We heated our dinners in the microwave. We were able to do these things because we had recently purchased a generator. Glory!

Even so, we still met in the living room as was our tradition, but it wasn’t the same. Our conversations were interrupted by important breaking news coverage. It was when my daughter mentioned how we used to play Monopoly that I realized what those annoying pre-generator power outages truly had been. Yes, my friend, they were blessings in disguise.

What happened to the Monopoly board this time? It stayed in its case.

Before we purchased the generator, we were busy as a family. If the impending outage was expected to last more than a day, we had to choose our sleeping spots near the fireplace, replace the batteries in our flashlights, and make sure we had enough matches to light the candles. Our children would inform us that the lighting would be adequate enough to play Monopoly but not bright enough to do homework. We had to make tents out of sheets, and castles out of books. The inconvenience of the storm became fun…

Let’s talk about an inconvenient blessing that was not fun at all. It was wrought on the most important day in history. The occasion was crucifixion day:  

A mid-day eclipse darkened the sky greater than any power outage we’ve experienced, obscuring figures in its thickening cloak. The sun refused to show her face. The earth rumbled, and rocks split.  At the same time, the veil of the Temple tore from top to bottom, loved ones rose from their graves, and Jesus shouted with His last breath, “It is finished.” It is as if all of creation stopped to honor the Savior as He died on Calvary’s cross.

Why did Jesus choose to endure this inconvenience? It is because He calls you His chosen one:

The night prior to Jesus’ crucifixion, He said, “I have chosen you.” [John 15:16b KJV] You, the one He has selected to focus His love upon, He knows by name. Why? His love for you is personal. His love for you started before crucifixion day. In fact, your Beloved Jesus chose you before you were born. [Psalm 139:13] He loved you before the world began. Genesis 1:2 KJV sets the scene: “And the earth was without form, and void: and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” The New Testament states, “He hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world.” [Ephesians 1:4b KJV]

It is in the backdrop of these primal waters, where the earth was void even of its shape, that Father God set into motion a plan for your life...  

Look closely at Ephesians 1:4b KJV, and you’ll see there’s an aspect of your choosing that is far more important than material blessings. Not only are you chosen and blessed from the foundation of the earth, Father God chose to create for you a Savior. The words, “in Him,” speak not only of material blessings but also of your salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ.

If you’ve asked Jesus to be your Savior, then you are “in Him.” This is part of God’s perfect plan for you. This makes you a member of the family of believers. I like that, because this makes you part of my family!

I ask you today, is there any inconvenience you’ve endured that compares to Christ’s suffering? Nothing compares! From a heart filled with compassion, Jesus Christ died on the cross to forgive you of sins. He rose from the dead, victorious over death, Hell, and the grave, because He loves you. Even now, He ascended into Heaven to prepare your mansion. Think about that; as a believer, your blessings stretch into eternity! A blessing awaits you that you’ll receive the moment you step into Heaven. Glory!  

During this holiday season, let’s thank God for less obvious blessings, like power outages that create family fun times, Monopoly games that help us to connect, and for the family of believers. But most of all, let’s reverence the Lord Jesus Christ, whose choice to bless us was wrought through unparalleled inconvenience.

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