Why do we think a blessed life is without pain, troubles, and trials? Blessings aren’t physical attributes that we can Instragam with the hashtag #Blessed. They are much better than those things here today and gone tomorrow. The blessings of God are strength and grace to endure trials and tribulations with hope, faith, and joy. I think we can agree that mother Jesus was a blessed woman, even her cousin Elizabeth. If we solely consider the trials she endured as the earthly mother of God, would we call her blessed?
41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!Luke 1:41-45
Not Defined By The Opinion of Others
Consider what Mary went through to give birth. Being pregnant before marriage at that time would’ve disgraced her family, her fiance’, her husband, and her child. Interestingly, Mary went to visit Elizabeth, a cousin who is in another town. The Bible doesn’t mention Mary’s parents or siblings. Even if her family believed her, she became the town’s gossip bringing shame upon her family. Do you ever experience sadness or shame when somebody thinks terribly about you? Have you lost sleep over it? I have. It’s a blessing to be unphased by the negative opinions of others.
43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”Luke 1:43-45
A Truly Blessed Life
Communities are crucial to our sense of belonging and emotional and social development; in ancient times, being in a community was a matter of survival. As Mary’s belly grew, she walked the streets of Nazareth amid the whispers, gossip, and unapproving looks. Yet Mary walked in peace, with confidence, secure in her knowledge of the truth. How? Elizabeth’s statement in Luke 41:45 sheds some light. Mary believed in and cherished the promises of God. To live a truly blessed life, we, like Mary, need to get to a place where the opinions of others matter less than the promises of God. How can we get there? We strengthen our belief by finding comfort and joy in Him, not despite our troubles but in the midst of them.
Lord, I realize I can’t leave this life without troubles and trials. When they come, help me to turn to You and believe in Your goodness and promises. Allow me to see when I put the opinions of others as more important than Your opinion of me. God, thank You for the strength and grace just like you gave to Mary so that I can live a truly blessed life despite my circumstances.