“The poor in spirit are blessed, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
Those who mourn are blessed, for they will be comforted.
The gentle are blessed, for they will inherit the earth.
Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are blessed,
For they will be filled.
The merciful are blessed, for they will be shown mercy.
The pure in heart are blessed, for they will see God.
The peacemakers are blessed, for they will be called sons of God.
Those who are persecuted for righteousness are blessed, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.” – Matthew 5:3-10
These are the beatitudes. The perplexing phrases that leave us feeling more confused at the riddles in the Gospels. I read these words and remember a time in my life where I jumped over the phrases that seemed above my understanding in the Bible. “It makes no sense”, “I don’t get it”, and “I’m not smart enough to understand this” – all the thoughts that used to jumble through my mind as I search for an easier truth to gravitate towards.
Not anymore. Things have changed since that young heart first opened these pages. My brain still holds the same capacity that it once did, but my heart has grown, and my mind has been enlightened to the truth that makes everything make sense…..It doesn’t make sense!
The things that don’t make sense to me are exactly what they are meant to be. They are meant to flip my perspective not stay in line with it. The things that my mind gets stuck on are the very things that I am struggling the most to grapple with. The things in these divine pages are put there to show me a way to live and a way to view people that is counter everything I already feel and am told is true by all that is around me.
The beatitudes are only one example. Why are the poor in spirit blessed? Why are the gentle blessed and not the powerful and strong? Why are the persecuted blessed and not the people who conform and fit in with everyone around them?
My answer to a section that I would once jump over is that we are blessed when we live with:
- a new way of seeing;
- a new way of interacting;
- a new way of understanding.
We are blessed when this world is no longer our goal to inherit but something bigger is in store. We are blessed when see people and have a heart for them and not centered on us. We are blessed when we aren’t defined by our circumstances but rather are refined through them.
We are blessed. Not blessed because of…blessed in spite of. Blessed in spite of how others might define our circumstances, and in spite of the pain that encircles us, in spite of the worldly grades we are given daily, and in spite of the trials that pile up one after the other. In spite of loneliness, in spite of disaster, in spite of betrayal, in spite of sickness, in spite of feeling lost, we are blessed even then.
This makes no sense. And because it makes no sense we lean in. We lean in because the way we’ve tried it isn’t working. The way we are seeing things isn’t feeling like a blessing, the way we are interacting with the people around us isn’t bearing any blessing, and the way we normally understand these truths is feeling like a dead end.
Lean in today. Lean in to the phrases that stump you. Lean in to a new way of seeing, interacting, and understanding all that is around you and feel #blessed.
What are some of the other verses that stump and challenge you, but have also refined and transformed you?
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