This week I was reading about the time when Jesus got into Simon Peter’s boat and asked Simon to push out from the shore so He could preach to the large crowd gathering there. Simon had fished all night and no doubt was tired and could have said no. But instead, Simon did what the Lord invited him to do. The crowd was blessed and so was Simon. This passage has caused me to reflect on the way God wants to bless us. Sometimes when we think of blessings we tend to think only of material things. We think of wealth, possessions, and shiny, sparkly things. Those types of things are things that most of us want and most of us consider blessings in our lives. And those types of things can be blessings. James reminded us that all good things come from above. But my experience has been that God does not always bless us with what we want, but He blesses us with what we need.
Trouble is, we don’t always pray for what we need. Sometimes we send up Christmas lists rather than humble supplications. It reminds me of that old Janis Joplin song, “Lord won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz.” Remember that one? I am pretty sure that all of us have lifted up a prayer very similar to that song at some point in our lives. I remember one time in the past where I told God that I would love to have a fast, sleek, shiny sports car. Now, there is nothing wrong with driving a sports car that the Lord has blessed you with. I’m just saying that God didn’t answer my prayer for one. Actually, I think He did answer my prayer. He said, “No.” And I think He said “no” because of the difference between what I want and what I need. After all, God has seen me drive. He knows what I don’t need.
Better yet, He knows what I do need. He knows I need His love, His joy, His peace, His patience, His kindness, His goodness, His faithfulness, His gentleness and His self-control. He knows that I need people who love me, who support me, who encourage me, and who care about me enough to tell me the truth. He knows that I need His forgiveness, His mercy and His grace. God knows that I need all those things…and He has provided all of them to me in abundance. He has blessed me. He has blessed me richly. Best of all, He has blessed me with His Son, Christ Jesus.