Bountiful Blessing: Part 1

This past week I found myself feeling awful. I had no energy to do nothing but rest. The unfortunate thing about feeling bad this week is I didn’t want to give it to my wife or son and hence I had to keep my distance and they keep their distance from me. I started to get the feeling like I had cooties or the plague. Yet when I felt better and more like myself I was able to go back to normal activities and be around my family. What a blessing it was to be able to sleep in the bed with my wife instead of a couch. What a blessing it was to be able to eat dinner with my wife instead of not being able to eat at all. What a blessing it was to be able to pick up my son and play with him.

When I returned from being sick, I was able to return to the joys and blessings of life. The same it true with the Lord. We hear the statement that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, sadly when we get to the other side we find that we were sadly mistaken. There are times when we are living in and walking with the Lord when for one reason or another we become distracted and we begin to think that the grass is greener on the other side. So we wonder away from the Lord, chasing the greener grass. If we are fortunate we quickly find out that it really isn’t greener, yet oftentimes we keep chasing moving further and further away from the Lord.

Here is the promise I want to give to you this morning. When we return to the Lord we will enjoy His blessings. As you sit here this morning you may say, “Pastor Keith, I am walking with the Lord and I haven’t wondered away. How does this apply?”

The reality is there are people whose lives we intersect all the time who have wondered away from the Lord. It may be you spouse or a child. It may be a neighbor or a co-worker. Whoever it is I want to encourage you to share with them that there are blessing when we return to the Lord.

In Hosea 14 we see several blessings when we return to the Lord.

In verse 4 we see that you will receive healing.

The first part of verse 4 where it says, “I will heal their apostasy.”

What this means is that as we have wondered and strayed from the Lord, He will heal us of those wounds, He will heal us of that spiritual blindness.  Let’s talk about both of these for a moment.

Maybe in your life you fell in to some sort of habitual sin that you would do over and over and over. Maybe it was a propensity to tell lies. You found yourself telling a lie and then you had to tell another lie to cover that lie and another lie to cover that lie. Before you knew it, you were caught in web of lies. Maybe you found yourself abusing and overusing alcohol or other medicines or drugs. Maybe it started when something horribly wrong happened in your life and you were trying to find an escape. Now you find yourself living for that escape.  Maybe you found yourself in the trap of pornography. It started off with one picture, but now it is all consuming and you think about it all the time. With easy access of movies, magazines, and the internet this is an easy trap to fall into, and a trap that will easily bury you. Maybe you found yourself in an intimate relationship with someone other than your spouse. It started off with a harmless conversation, yet either quickly or slowly turned into something far different.

We are not told that the ramifications of habitual sins to our relationships and our physical life are erased, yet it is only through the Lord can you find healing, forgiveness, and ability to move on with life.

Also with the Lord’s healing, we have the healing of spiritual blindness. Spiritual blindness happens when we wonder away from the Lord  and blinders are put on. We walk in darkness and die in darkness. We start rationalizing the things that we do and the things we say. We start putting ourselves in positions we otherwise know we shouldn’t be in. We start being influenced by people we know shouldn’t influence us. The truth is oftentimes we don’t even realize it, because we have become spiritually blinded. Yet it is the Lord as we return to Him, He removes these spiritual blinders, He heals you, and He helps you to see the light.

When we return to the Lord we receive the blessing of healing.

Life is Good

I’ve been sitting here for a few hours working on a few things as my wife is still asleep and my newborn son lays just feet from me in his swing sleeping and all I can think of is…life is good. Correction: Life is Great!!! Even through the sleep deprivation, I know without a doubt that life is great. I sit here and realize that hopes and dreams are coming true and that life is truly filled with joy. The radical transitions that have and continue to occur in my youngfamily over the past couple of weeks is monumental and truly memorable. The thought of waking up to change a diaper or to prep a bottle multiple times at night will fade but these wonderful memories will live on in my mind forever.

Don’t get me wrong, I know there will be challenges and heart break in the days ahead. I know there will be frustrations with potty training and figuring out the work life and home life balance. I know all of these things and more, yet when the math is done the only conclusion is that life is truly great. As one of my old professor’s oftentimes stated, “I’m too blessed to be depressed.”

So that is where I am: truly blessed and realizing that life is great.