If a ignorant child or foreigner asked you the question: What does it mean to be "blessed", how would you answer?
Admittedly, this question: "What does it mean to be blessed", is one of those questions that can be tricky to answer. It's up there with "What's the American Dream?". The answer not only can vary person to person, it most certainly will. If you grabbed a mic and a video camera and asked people walking the streets of any city what it means to be blessed, there would be a wide range of answers thrown at you. You may hear: married to my best friend, a home, seven grandchildren, good health, lots of wealth, a good job, fun friends, or debt free. Good answers, and these answers can add to a person's overall feeling of blessed, but what if I don't have either of these things? Am I not blessed? See how it's a tricky question?! Or how about this answer: I am alive, so I'm blessed. Is that true? It is for someone, but maybe you aren't in agreement with that thought right now. Wouldn't it be rather difficult to convenience the world to believe and live out that statement?
How do we get to true north on this question? Can we get to true north? I can show you a picture of a car and we can convince 99% of sane people to agree, "yes, that's a car". However, we can't do that with blessing. How can I show you a blessing and get 99% of the people to agree, "yes, that's a blessing"? I could show you a picture of a car or a picture of a thousand other items and it's pretty likely that not 90%+ of the people are going to agree, "yes, that's a blessing".
My friend John had a great perspective to this question. John said "...Anything and everything you are given is a blessing. My three DUI's were some of the hardest, most awful times in my life, but I realize they were a blessing...they can come in the form of pain and suffering, and it takes you going through the pain to recognize the blessing it can become." I wholeheartedly agree with John's beautiful reminder. I wonder how many times you and I have had that perspective? Not as often as we should, I bet. Maybe we can try to make it a new habit though. I believe there's a positive to every situation, every. Yes, even in death. God works ALL things together for good, and He gives us the promise that He will do so.
The blessed life isn't about our circumstances. Those change day by day, hour by hour, sometimes minute to minute. I have been fortunate to know people in their final days of life that were living and proclaiming a blessed life. And I likely know others that wouldn't claim "the blessed life" due to some small frustration or circumstance. Those happy, uplifting people you see and hear whistling have bad days too. They just may not speak about it or let their bad circumstances and bad days impact them. I believe without a doubt: somewhere, someone is without a home, job, spouse, friends, and yet they claim "I have a blessed life." That picture may not equal a blessed life for you and me, but that doesn't mean someone else can't proclaim it.
Pastor and author Greg Laurie gave a definition of The Blessed Life that I personally appreciate, "Blessed Life: happy or blissful, but with a self-contained happiness. Self-contained, meaning that regardless what is happening to us externally, we can be truly happy internally."
Thats all the blessed life is. Maybe right now we can't all agree on that's what the blessed life is, but I bet we can all agree that is something we want.
Chris & Jenn live in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. They were high school sweethearts, marrying in 2001. They are parents to one son, Luke (born November 1999) and two loving pups: Miley & Elsie.