Lately I’ve been pondering the idea of blessings also being crosses, and crosses also being blessings. The topic came up in the Bible study for school parents this morning, with the story of Joseph. His ability to understand the meaning of dreams was a blessing, but also a cross for him. It ultimately blessed his life and the lives of thousands of other people, but it came at a cost to him.
The move to new home has also been a blessing and a cross. Anyone who has ever moved with kids knows how difficult moving can be. Add to that the loss of friends and the loss of familiar surroundings, and it’s easy to see that moving can be a cross. Yet, there are lots of blessings at our new place, too. The warmer climate is a blessing, our wonderful new backyard is a blessing, and new friends and new opportunities are also blessings.
It has occurred to me lately that sometimes, even relationships can be a blessing and a cross. It’s not to hard to see that people who are blessings to us and bring joy to our lives can also be a cross to us and bring us sorrow. The two opposites go together.
God makes it pretty clear in his word that his children can expect to experience both joy and sorrow while we live on this earth. The act of living our life as a Christian will bring us both joy and sorrow. The concept of the theology of the cross says that sorrow as a result of living our lives as a Christian is to be expected, and we can welcome our sorrows and trials and the crosses that we bear with joy, as a sign of God’s love for us. The concept of finding joy in our sorrows and sufferings is not one we readily want to accept. Yet, that is what God promises his children.
I’m not a big fan of Christian Contemporary Music, but right after we moved, I spent some time listening to the local Christian radio station. During that time, I happened to hear a certain song on the radio twice in two days. The song touched my just-moved-and-still-feeling-vulnerable heart, with its refrain of:
What if your blessings come through raindrops,
What if your healing comes through tears,
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you’re near?
What if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise?
I was deeply moved by the song, but I didn’t know what it was called or who wrote it. Then earlier this week, I was reading one of the blogs I follow, and she linked to the YouTube video of that song! I was delighted to find out more about the song, as well as listen to it again (and again, and again…) The song is called “Blessings,” and it’s written and sung by Laura Story. I have no idea who Laura Story is or what her background is, but I really like her song. I don’t think she’d label her song as on the topic of the theology of the cross, but that’s exactly what it is.
Take a listen to it, and see what you think.