The Blessed Life

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what it means to be blessed. Being blessed means that you have been given a new chance, something greater, you are holy. It’s a word that means you have been given all you need by a father looking out for you, and to be honest, I don’t always feel this way. I think a lot of us don’t feel this way. We are never content with what we have it seems like, we are always looking to the next big thing, the next adventure, the next purchase to satisfy the never ending craving of life. We never look at what we have and see what God has given us, and sometimes, we don’t feel like God has blessed us. We all go through struggles in life, I feel like I say this each week, but it’s true. We face pain that we never thought we would, but even in moments of pain we are blessed. We are blessed and God has given us all we need.

This concept first came into my head recently when talking to my coworker. I make food at Chick-Fil-A in the mornings, because writing this blog sadly isn’t a full time job (at least for now! Spoilers), and each morning when I work God uses this coworker to speak to me. Kathy has worker at the store for a long time, and each morning I say hello and I ask her how she’s doing today. Without fail, she always replies, “I’m blessed.” No matter who asks her, if it’s stormy outside or beautiful, she always says she is blessed. The more and more I think about this, the more I’m reminded of how blessed I am in my life. I have a great family, I’m in a relationship with a wonderful girl, and I’m working towards a future filled with writing and empowering people. Even in the hard moments of life, and the trials I face, I’m still blessed. I started to read through some verses about being blessed and the one that stuck out to me the most was in Psalms 1:1-3. It says, “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.” I just love how encouraging God is, when we follow him and walk in his plans, no matter what we choose to do, it prospers. I want to share today how each of you has a blessed life, no matter what your past, how insignificant you may feel, or if you feel like you aren’t making a difference, God wants you to prosper. So today I will share three points, and use the example of a band, a dancer, and a doctor to illustrate how each of you has a blessed life.

You are never knocked down.

It’s hard to understand that you are blessed when life tries to knock you down. Maybe it’s the words from someone close to you that tears you down. Maybe you never feel satisfied with where you are, so you feel like you have to travel or seek out more than you need to. Maybe you say yes way too much and have a hard time learning to say no. There are so many ways that we can get knocked down. The shame of our past keeping us from moving forward. As I was thinking about what to write this week in regards to being blessed, I was listening to The Clash in my car. This was one of the first wave of British punk bands in the 70’s, and I was listening to the album, “London Calling.” It’s a great album with lots of classic punk songs on it, but one song stood out to me. Titled, “I’m Not Down,” this song was speaking directly to my heart. The lyrics are calling out the rich and other people who put others down, classic punk stuff, and the chorus is incredible. “I’ve been beat up, I’ve been thrown out. But I’m not down, I’m not down. I’ve been shown up, but I’ve grown up. And I’m not down, I’m not down.” I think many of you need to step into the idea of these lyrics, not bucking off the system, but taking back the life God has blessed you with. Yes, we’ve all been knocked down and people have tried to tear us down, but when we stand with Christ, we are never down. We need to follow on the path towards Christ, and no matter how hard it gets, we are never fully down.

You have joy in all things.

This is where a dancer spoke to me through their complete joy, although not in the traditional sense. I love to dance and have fun as well as see the craft of incredible dancers, but this past week I saw the most incredible thing I’d ever seen. I was driving down the road and saw a man cast off all his worries and dance. I’m sure you’ve all seen the sign spinners in your area, but you’ve never seen a man move like this. Headphones in, the sun blazing, and the dancing of a pro, on the street for everyone to see. This guy was awesome, at one point I think he even threw down the sign and just went for it. I love that image. A man who is probably not being paid much to spin a sign, take ownership of where he was in life and find the joy inside it. All too often we get caught up complaining about our situations when we should really look for the joy right where you are. For me, I’m a student and don’t make a lot of money, but I work hard (fighting those millennial stereotypes, yo) and I find joy wherever I am. Can’t eat out every night? Experiment with cooking at home. Don’t have the means to travel the world? Have a night in with loved ones playing games. Your life doesn’t have a set timeline for when you do things, you don’t need to worry, find joy in the now. Find joy in all things, even if the sun is blazing and you have to hold a sign, find the joy to dance in the work.

You make a difference.

The other day my dad was talking about a story he heard of Dr. Heimlich, the man who invented the Heimlich maneuver. The story was that he used his own technique for the first time at the age of 96 to save another person’s life. I just love how poetic that is. A man who created a maneuver that has saved countless lives, was able to experience the fruit of his labor. Often I wonder if what I pour my life into actually matters, that I actually make a difference in the grand scheme of things. I’m sure you feel the same. We all doubt our own strengths and abilities, but God gave them to us for a reason. If just one person is impacted by our actions, we have made a difference. You may not see the impact you’ve made, but when you run after all that God has for you, your impact is never ending. Our lives impact other lives, which in turn impact other lives, it becomes a never ending cycle that builds others up and saves lives. Just like Dr. Heimlich, the things you invest your time in, relationships, work, ministry, all of it can be used to create a lasting impact. With Christ, you make a difference.

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I hope this encourages you. I hope this has made you feel empowered. You have been blessed, God has watched over you through it all. Even when life seems to fall apart, He is right there with you. When you abide in him, no matter what you do, it will prosper. That is a promise we can hold on to, a promise that we can live with. We don’t have to wake up with fear, we can wake up, and no matter how hard it gets, and say to ourselves, “I’m blessed.” You don’t have to stay knocked down, you don’t have to worry, and you don’t have to question your impact. With Christ, we can get back up, we can find true joy, and we can make a difference. Live a blessed life, because you are so blessed. Be content with what you have been given, work hard, and focus on the father who loves you and calls you by name. You are made in his image, and you are blessed.

Go out and know that you are blessed, no matter what.

-Joshua Thomas

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