Wednesday, 8 January 2014

The responsibility of a blessing

Happy New Year friends! Hope you had a refreshing time with your family and friends during the Christmas and New Year celebrations/holidays. 

With every new year, it is typical for people to pray for all kinds of blessings. I did and I guess you did as well. But do you know that for every blessing we receive, we need to be accountable and responsible?

Some years ago when my husband and I were trying for a baby, we prayed for God to bless us with a child. It took more than a year before I could get pregnant.
Naturally we were both overjoyed when I finally got pregnant. As the pregnancy progressed and I started suffering from morning sickness, heartburn and all other pregnancy illnesses, I began to grumble. I just couldn’t wait for the baby to be born and for me to get it over with. After our son was born safely, I entered into another phase of complaints: this time, of sleeplessness and tiredness. 

It’s almost amusing that this same person who was crying to God earlier, to bless her was suddenly becoming overwhelmed and complaining as a result of the blessing she had received. I totally forgot that this blessing had a responsibility attached to it and that it would require hardwork, perseverance and faithfulness.

And I am not alone in this, I have seen people grumble about the jobs they prayed very hard for. They do the jobs sloppily, get there late, complain if their boss asks them to do something, etc. What about those who prayed to get married or be in a relationship? The same story is repeated when they eventually get that blessing. Same thing with getting an admission into a school, and indeed getting anything one really wants.

I have come to realise that in life, every blessing that comes our way has responsibility attached to it. Yes God wants us to be happy with the blessings He gives us, but those blessings need to be taken care of as well. 

When Adam and Eve were in that lovely Garden of Eden, God gave them responsibilities. Genesis 2:15 says, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”
It certainly wasn’t easy for Adam to take care of the Garden and all the animals in it, but it was required. Notice here that God required responsibility from Adam even before the Fall, so it clearly is not a bad thing. I think its God's way of having us work in partnership with Him. If God did everything for us, without us being involved, we would never grow or appreciate it enough.

I see that in my toddler son when he puts on his clothes or shoes by himself. He doesn't always like it when I do it for him. He has a sense of accomplishment and self-esteem whenever he gets it right. He also knows mum is always nearby to help if he can't manage alone. Imagine if I never allowed him to do that. He would never learn and I may have to keep dressing him up for ever!

As a perfect parent, God gives us opportunities for growth via responsibilities. It is rarely easy, but the right attitude can make it better or worse. I think that when we submit to God and depend on Him while carrying out the responsibilities attached to the blessings He has given us, He makes it easier. It becomes frustratingly difficult when we think we know everything and can manage alone. The Bible says in John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”  

Prior to the Fall, work was satisfying to Adam & Eve, but it became more difficult due to their disobedience. If we approach our responsibilities with trust in God and total dependence on Him, He strengthens us to be excellent and not overwhelmed.

And so I encourage you, don’t grumble because of the responsibilities that come with the blessings you have. Remember how much you prayed to have them in the past. And see the responsibilities attached as a partnership with God to grow and become better. Then ask God for help to be a faithful and wise steward of those blessings. Our God delights to help us and has promised, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

May God help us to view His blessings and the responsibilities attached, in a new light this year. Amen.

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