Day 21 - Issue 22

July 31, 2017

Genesis 32:26 NLT

But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

I end my emails, “every blessing”. It sounds Christian and uplifting but what does it mean other than ‘the end’? Blessing is important. It offers God’s favour and protection going forward, expressing my desire that whatever my email recipient’s experience, they might discover God’s favour and protection.

As Katey and I entered the tunnel of despair, we assumed God’s favour had left us. We didn’t think we enjoyed God’s protection. As the years passed, we slowly realised God was, in fact, answering our prayers of ignorance when we’d genuinely asked for more of God in our life.

What at first felt like his punishment was part of his deeper self-revelation. I had often preached that God is in everything. So how had I lost sight of God so easily and so fast? Here I was blinded to the presence of God while all the time he was hidden in plain sight.

I chose to let go of God in my desperation over Katey’s MS diagnosis. Although I didn’t realise it, God never let go of me. As I wrestled with my circumstances in the bleakest, darkest night I’d ever known, I came to realise that I was only wrestling air and nothingness. At first I took the fight to be about God’s faithfulness. Only because I believed God must prove his faithfulness through the tangible intervention of healing. Yet, everyone healed of one thing must most certainly die of something else. I also had a fixed term across which mortality must extend, so any earlier departure was somehow a failure.

As I discovered this was about a deeper understanding of God, and I opened my eyes to the reality of eternity, only then did I encounter God’s blessing in the heat of the battle. Katey died knowing God’s favour and protection; I was able to let her go and bless her on her way. God walked with me in my grief and loneliness. We both knew God, and ourselves, better for the fight.

QUESTION: What does the blessing of God mean to you?

PRAYER: Lord, your ways are not my ways. Help me be content with your ways.

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