So I’m running today and loving the scenery. How incredible is it that I get to run with a view of two mountain ranges and a glorious expanse of water? I stopped for a moment to take it all in and reflected again on how incredibly blessed I am to live in this place. And then I was besieged with that old familiar feeling: Guilt. I have this terrible habit of feeling guilty for my blessings. So often all I can think is, “Why am *I* so blessed?” Why do I get mountains instead of cornfields or industrial parks or whatever (though I of all people know cornfields do have their own sort of beauty). With my second pregnancy I couldn’t feel joy for the longest time because all I could think was, “Why do I get blessed with another baby? Why when so many of my friends and loved ones struggle so much to get pregnant and suffer through miscarriages, or who simply long for the love of a husband and a family, do I have this second blessing coming into my life?” It literally robbed me of joy. I was cloaked in depression for weeks at the beginning because I felt such guilt for the blessings I was given. Guilt not gratitude–Isn’t that outrageous?!
I was thinking of that today and suddenly I heard God whisper, “You can trust me with other people’s blessings, you know.” And then I was flooded. I got it. Oh yeah… If God is taking such care to bless me with these exquisite things crafted with care to make my heart smile, of course He’s doing that for others! He knows my heartaches, he knows my cares, and he knows what woos my heart. He knows when I need the simplicity of resting into beauty. He knows the desires of my heart, little and big. He allows pain and suffering into my life, yes, but He also cushions me with an abundance of his love and a portion of blessings that leave me astounded and and grateful, and… guilty???
In a perfect world it would all equal out. We would all, well… Still be in the Garden of Eden experiencing pure intimacy with God and with one another. Our bellies would ALL be full, our hearts would be unashamedly vulnerable. Sickness and death and grief wouldn’t be in the picture. All truly WOULD BE (instead of shall be) well.
This is, at root, a trust issue. Do I trust in God’s goodness in my life and in the lives of others in the midst of plenty and in the midst of want? In the midst of the obviously beautiful and joyful and good and in the midst of what looks stark and barren and ugly? I knowthat I am graced with such abundant blessings, but I can trust that God is supplying blessings to others. He’s God. He’s not stingy. I don’t have the corner on his extravagant benevolence and generosity, and to feel guilty for my blessings only suggests that I think He’s holding out on others. That He could, at a moment’s notice, hold out on me. But that’s not Abba. That’s not God. This tells me that really I think He can’t be trusted. It also suggests, a really embarrassing level of narcissism, I suppose.
He IS blessing others. Even those that I see who are in such excruciating pain, who might not be in the same sort of season of blessing that I am in. He is there. He is their comfort and shelter and he delights in and woos their hearts just as much as mine. He is God. He is everywhere. His love endures forever. And I can rest in that instead of fretting and stewing over guilt. He was there for me in the times when the walls closed in and the bottom fell out of my life. When it seemed the crap of life would never stop piling up, His goodness was still in the midst of it. The blessings looked different then, but they were no less real or sustaining. That’s God. That’s His goodness. That’s who He is.
It’s not about ‘fairness’ or ‘equality’ in the long run, though He is equally present with each one of us. It’s just about trusting the unceasingly good heart of the Most High. He continually shows such goodness to me. Now I realize He’s got everyone else’s blessings covered. I don’t need to worry about their portion with the giver of all good things at the helm. So I think, I’ll just feel free to rest and relax into the good things in my life. Gratitude just makes more sense than guilt. Don’t you think?