When a Blessing Hurts

itchy sweater

Has someone ever blessed you with a slow cooker full of food when you were in need? Or maybe you received an envelope with your name scribbled on it, the handwriting unrecognizable and a little money tucked inside?

Perhaps the man behind you in line at the store paid for some of your groceries, those you were embarrassed to admit exceeded the amount of money in your checking account. Or maybe someone offered to babysit your child when you needed a moment to catch your breath or give you a ride when your car was on the fritz.

What did you do with that blessing? Were you thankful?

Or did you cringe at the idea of accepting their gift? Did it settle in your stomach like a bunch of rocks? You didn’t want to take it. You just couldn’t accept it, but…

You’d been crying out to God for help, and there it was. Perhaps it wasn’t the way you expected Him to help. And overall, you felt terrible and wondered how a gift, a blessing could actually hurt.

Blessings hurt when they don’t fit our standards of what we’re comfortable receiving. When Pride shows up on the scene demanding he’s in charge.

Think of it this way: Someone gives you a beautiful painting, a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. Pride walks in with a scowl on his face, picks up a can of orange paint, and splatters it across the painting. Then he reaches for another can…

If you let him, Pride will ruin the blessing.

And a blessing like that is a gift. It has nothing to do with your worth. It’s a gift to you from your Heavenly Father (and the lovely vessel He chose to use). It wasn’t something you earned. It wasn’t something you had to repay. It wasn’t something to hurry up and get rid of like a hot potato in your hand because Pride was as comfortable as wearing a sweater in the middle of a hot summer day. (Did I mention the sweater was one from grade school?)

Let Pride squirm in his tight and itchy sweater. Let him sulk, get mad, and try to make you feel guilty.

Elbow Pride out of your way and don’t waste your time trying to argue with him. His older brother, Stubborn, has taught him a thing or two, and he won’t give up so easily. Save your breath.

Besides, you’ve got more important things to do. You can start by thanking the person God used to bless you (perhaps you saw a glimpse of your Father in that person’s eyes – a double blessing for you!).

You can praise God for His hand in your life, for the way He chose to help you. (It was a surprise, wasn’t it?)

And then you can start praying God will bless that person in ways you never could, in ways you can’t even imagine.

You can also pray He will use you like that someday.  What an honor, a humbling experience to be used by God Almighty to shine His light on someone who’s been crying out to Him.

“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18 NIV.)

“And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.” (2 Corinthians 9:8 NLT.)