As I walked with my husband
during our evening jaunt around the neighborhood, I nodded.
“It’s too good,” he added.
I nodded again.
Lately, we’d felt incredibly
blessed: I wasn’t stressed about writing, I had time to get the little
chores done, my husband’s talent for making our lawn and garden green
and lush was vividly evident, his retirement was enjoyable (for both of
us), our son had moved into a new home, and a daughter’s
wedding plans were
coming along. Just that weekend, while at our granddaughter’s birthday
party, someone had said to me, “You’ve had a fantastic five years. All
three kids married, with three grandkids . . .” The words had added to
our feeling of being incredibly blessed.
Yet as my husband voiced the
blessings, we also had this overlying feeling that it couldn’t last.
Looking out on the distresses and stresses of the world, our little
slice of utopia had to be interrupted by some kind
of crisis. It was inevitable.
But as we finished our walk, I
hated that my last view of the sunset that evening was tainted by my
inner clouds of logic. The three words This can’t last
seemed blasphemous, heretical. At the very least disrespectful to God.
That night I awakened early, at
three a.m. I tossed and turned until four, when I finally got up and
went to my office, surrendered to getting something done. But then I
noticed a book of devotions on the floor next to my chair. I took it up
and opened it.
And I learned something.
I read a section about saying
yes to God. When Mary was told she was going to have a baby—the Son of
God—she replied, “May it be to me as you have said.”
If an angel came and told me
such a thing, how would I react? Would I be as complacent as Mary? No
way. For one thing, I wouldn’t have believed I’d even seen a real
angel, and I would have argued and wanted details.
In contrast to Mary’s reaction
to her enormous blessing, the same angel told the priest Zechariah that
his aged wife was going to have a baby (John the Baptist). He didn’t
believe it and wanted proof. God’s response? He made
Zechariah mute until the baby was born and named.
in the darkness of the early morning, I was faced with a decision.
Lately God had given us a bounty of blessings. Yet there we were,
questioning them, tainting them with logic, worrying about when they’d
go away and when trouble would come.
So what was God asking of us?
it be that His current
request was to merely accept His blessings without question? Instead of
constantly thinking the other shoe was going to drop—must drop—did He
want us to appreciate the good times, acknowledge His hand in them, and
simply accept them as a gift?
as Zechariah missed the
blessing of fully enjoying the nine months of his wife’s miraculous
pregnancy because he sought logic, details, and a sign from God, my
husband and I were at risk of ruining the enormous blessings of God
with our practical attitude.
And then there was the other
question that plagued us. According to our accounting we hadn’t done
anything to deserve these blessings, which made their existence all the
What was going on?
I shut the devotional and bowed
my head, surrendering my confusion, guilt, and human shortcomings to
the Lord. Instead of being fearful about when the blessings would end,
instead of being worrisome and logical like Zechariah, I prayed we
would be like Mary, the mother of God and accept everything.
As Psalm 100:4–5 says: “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his
courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the
LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues
through all generations” (NIV).
For whatever reason, we were
traveling through a time of blessings.
If so, stop looking for a stain
in the silver lining and wallow in its heavenly shimmer.
What’s going on? What’s always