Sometimes Blessings come all by themselves, unannounced and surprisingly sweet. Sometimes they come amid challenges, as the product of hope and faith.
Earlier this week, my family missed celebrating Father's Day. We were challenged by time, circumstances, and scheduling. Thanks to the creative efforts of my sister-in-law, and God's provision, we were able to celebrate late on Wednesday night and include some birthday celebrations as well. In fact we celebrated five Dads, and four birthdays! We had great conversations, laughter, and sweetly tart lemon sorbet.
A challenge led to multiple blessings.
Yesterday I felt exhausted in the afternoon. I wasn't sure if I should go to the church softball game. Getting there, and getting started challenged me. Thanks to the positive attitudes of my team mates, and the fumble of the first baseman, I made it on base at my first bat, and was sent home by my next teammate. I was surprised that I could run as well as I did. Not saying I did great, but considering I hurt my ankle about a month ago, I did much better than I expected. Again, a challenge led to multiple blessings: fun, exceeding my own expectations, feeling healed from my hurt.
Last night, my kids were challenged by some rude behavior by four boys at the game. They focused their attention on two younger girls, and played with them. The blessings here: my daughters showed me how responsible they are, and I know they are able to talk to me about their challenges. (although I would have liked to have known sooner) My oldest daughter who doesn't always stand up for herself, stood up for the two younger girls and protected them.
This last week, I've been challenged by lack of complete sleep. By complete sleep, I mean more than five or six hours. The blessing that has surfaced in this challenge is that God has provided me with wakefulness when I most needed it, and provided me with nap-time on the day that I couldn't make it through without more sleep.
From my experiences in life, I know that God is refining me through each challenge, and that I can trust Him to provide me with rest, faith, and hope for each day.
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever."
1 Corinthians 9:24-25