Thoughts on ‘Blessings’

I love the song “Blessings” by Laura Story. Several new connections (or thoughts) jumped out at me when I was re-listening to it recently.

“We pray for peace,…”

Israel and the Middle East is the first thing that comes to mind. So many lives lost on both sides. So much hatred. Because of my multi-cultural friend circle, I get to hear about it from both perspectives. The hatred is what really hit me.

Recently, a family friend and history buff visited and gave us a thirty minute condensed summary of the history of this war. Mind you, this is only the tip of the iceberg regarding this issue. I need to do more research on the topic, but for now I’ll recap what the best history teacher I know said. (Don’t quote me, I did not take notes (unfortunately) —this is simply what stood out to me).

Prior to WWII, many Jewish people started to feel the tension growing in Europe. So many of them began searching for somewhere to live and call their own. The Jews did not have a country of their own at that point. They were a spread out people group. What they did have, however, was money—in the form of family silver, heirlooms, etc. But they did not want riches. They wanted land to call their home. Several Jews came into modern day Israel (called Palestine back then). They offered to pay the Palestinians two or three times the amount their land was worth. Thinking the Jews were stupid to give so much money for the land, they happily agreed.

Gradually, the population in Palestine became more Jewish. At this point Britain said, “No more Jews are welcome to Palestine.” (Britain was in charge of that area at that point).

With nowhere else to go, the Jews continued in. Then the problems started. The Palestinians, who had fairly and enthusiastically sold their land, realized something. “We have no home now.” The other countries surrounding them did not take kindly to their Arab brothers’ plight. So they decided to go back to Palestine and buy back the land from the Jews.

I can only guess what the Jews were thinking at this point. “Wait a second… you sold us this land happily. This is our home. Now you want to buy it back again?! No way!!”

After the Jews refused to sell their land, the Palestinians decided to take matters into their own hands—or rather, their own weapons.

And that, my friends, is the five minute story of why Israel and her surrounding Middle Eastern countries hate each other (save Egypt—because they traded peace for the Sinai Peninsula) and fight over the land. Both sides have killed, and neither is innocent. But, I found this little glimpse of history to be quite enlightening on the whole topic.

“We pray for your mighty hand to ease our suffering. …”

I think about persecuted Christians around the globe. Compared to what they face every single day, we really have nothing to complain about here in the US. Yes, we have a huge national debt, businesses are being forced to provide birth control & abortion pills to their workers, and free speech is limited in many cases (unless you agree with what’s politically correct), but… we can still worship freely together with other believers on Sunday (or any other day of the week) without fearing imprisonment, fines, or beatings. We can own a Bible and not even think twice about it, when our brothers and sisters in North Korea face execution if a Bible is found in their possession.

We have so much to be thankful for, and no matter what you think of the recent political choices, we have the most religious freedoms anywhere in the world (though they are under heavy fire).

Join me in praying for Christians all around the world to hold fast to the word of God and to never lose sight of the reason we run run this race.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles,
and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith,
who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame,
and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Hebrews 12:1-2

“All the while, You hear each spoken need.”

God knows what we need, and He always hears us.  Even if we don’t get an immediate answer—He hears.

He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.”
Psalm 121:3-4

“What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you’re near?”

This reminds me of B.J. Higgins.  When this vibrant young teen, on fire for God, contracted an infection on the mission field, he used his six week opportunity to unite Christians and witness to everyone he came in contact with.  His parents knew God was near, but through this ordeal they learned to trust Him entirely—having to give God their only son.  B.J. died from the infection, but God took the seemingly hopeless and terrible situation to bring many souls nearer to Himself.

“A greater thirst, this world can’t satisfy.”

I like to play games—especially computer games.  What I have found (and sometimes forget and have to re-learn), is that no matter how good you get and no matter how long you play, it does not satisfy.  Ever.  I always want something more—the games may give a fake brief sense of satisfaction and accomplishment, but it does not last.  And then I am left looking for something better.  Or rather, someone better.

Things of this world will never fully satisfy.  Only a personal relationship with our creator can fill that void.

I hope you were able to take something from my insights, or just enjoy hearing the song again (or for the first time).  What thoughts strike you when you hear these lyrics?

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,
neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us
from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:38-39

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