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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: Bles­sings

Vieraskieliset / In-english
6.9.2019 6.08

Juttua muokattu:

23.12. 02:44

When our work or ot­her ef­forts are suc­ces­s­ful, we of­ten say that they were bles­sed. This ap­p­lies equ­al­ly to bu­si­ness pro­jects, stu­dies, mar­ri­a­ge or al­most anyt­hing.

When life smi­les on us, we may sub­cons­ci­ous­ly think that we so­me­how de­ser­ve the suc­cess. If the suc­cess is cle­ar­ly re­la­ted to our own ca­pa­bi­li­ties, we may even for­get where our gifts come from.

Some of the clichés per­tai­ning to suc­cess inc­lu­de aca­de­mic dis­tinc­ti­on, ha­ving a spou­se and child­ren, a job pro­mo­ti­on, a ba­lan­ced mar­ri­a­ge, a fa­mi­ly hou­se, a good car, a va­ca­ti­on home, well-edu­ca­ted child­ren and a pres­ti­gi­ous job.

On the web­si­te of the Evan­ge­li­cal-Lut­he­ran Church of Fin­land, ‘bles­sing’ is de­fi­ned as God’s pre­sen­ce and care in the world. If, then, we lack some of the at­t­ri­bu­tes of good life, has the Cre­a­tor been ab­sent or not pa­ying at­ten­ti­on to us?

I have ex­pe­rien­ced both good luck and mis­for­tu­nes in my life. My har­dest ex­pe­rien­ces have been the loss of my job du­ring the 1990s re­ces­si­on and the two can­cer di­ag­no­ses I have had over the past few ye­ars. I have been for­tu­na­te, ho­we­ver, to have a wife, child­ren and grandc­hild­ren, and my child­ren have al­so found their nic­hes in so­cie­ty.

Ma­y­be the hards­hips that God has gi­ven me have ac­tu­al­ly been signs of His pre­sen­ce. Alt­hough He has tes­ted my faith, He has not aban­do­ned me. My wife and I have been hel­ped through all ad­ver­si­ties.

The gre­a­test bles­sing we can ima­gi­ne is to get in­to he­a­ven. We can the­re­fo­re conc­lu­de that all things that help us on our way to he­a­ven are bles­sings.

Yet I do not think that those who ex­pe­rien­ce hards­hips and tri­als are es­pe­ci­al­ly in need of pu­nish­ment. Ex­ces­si­ve suc­cess can al­so be a trial. If all things turn out well, one’s whole life may seem a mat­ter or or­ga­ni­za­ti­on. Eve­ryt­hing goes well if I just ra­ti­o­nal­ly or­ga­ni­ze my life. Well-or­ga­ni­zed life is not a sin, but it may obs­cu­re our view of nee­ding God’s bles­sing. The Bib­le warns us about the dan­gers of ex­ces­si­ve we­alth, and I do not think this on­ly re­fers to spi­ri­tu­al over­con­fi­den­ce.

I have been bles­sed with two can­cers, but I have been gran­ted over­ti­me, and I am now fee­ling as­to­nis­hing­ly well. Il­l­ness has not made me a bet­ter per­son, but I un­ders­tand that I am now bles­sed with life. I have not de­fe­a­ted my can­cers, I have on­ly ag­reed to have tre­at­ments.

‘Bles­sing’ seems to defy de­fi­ni­ti­on. If I had died from can­cer and been ta­ken in­to he­a­ven, that would have been more of a bles­sing than anyt­hing el­se.

Ma­y­be all things that we ex­pe­rien­ce are some kind of bles­sing. God gi­ves us hards­hips when we need a re­min­der of the most pre­ci­ous thing in life and pros­pects of clear sai­ling when we need hope.

It is chal­len­ging to de­fi­ne ‘bles­sing’. We ea­si­ly on­ly pay at­ten­ti­on to pe­op­le’s out­ward life. Ac­tu­al­ly, ho­we­ver, pe­a­ce of mind, con­tent­ment and con­fi­den­ce may be gre­a­ter bles­sings than ma­te­ri­al we­alth. A per­son may lead an os­ten­sib­ly mo­dest life and yet be ful­ly con­tent with his or her lot. It is a bles­sing to be ab­le to find in­te­res­ting things and feel hap­pi­ness, even though one is not sho­we­red with mo­ney.

So­me­o­ne may be ma­te­ri­al­ly suc­ces­s­ful but have sor­rows that few ot­her pe­op­le are awa­re of. The out­ward suc­cess of a per­son may al­so be a trial to ot­hers. Can we be con­tent with our own lot?

My late fat­her-in-law had gi­ven wise ad­vi­ce to my wife, who had wor­ried about her ina­bi­li­ty to pay back the good things she had been gi­ven. He had said that we should free­ly ac­cept the gifts we are gi­ven and then pass the bles­sing on to ot­hers.

Some pe­op­le may ex­pe­rien­ce such big hards­hips that, from the hu­man view­point, they do not even seem help­ful or use­ful. The Bib­le tel­ls us about Job, whose life was like a rol­ler-co­as­ter ride. He ex­pe­rien­ced both abun­dant suc­cess and he­a­vy tri­als. Job li­ved and died as a be­lie­ver. Be­cau­se his end was good, his life must al­so have been good.

The pur­po­se of life is a great mys­te­ry. We can­not un­ders­tand it wit­hout faith. Faith is the­re­fo­re more im­por­tant than ra­ti­o­nal un­ders­tan­ding.

I have had ups and downs in my life. If I could look back and chan­ge it, I would not know how to do it. I am be­lie­ving now, and that me­ans my life must have been good. The sun is shi­ning right now. I feel I am gai­ning strength and re­co­ve­ring from my can­cer, which I did not be­lie­ve I would do. This must be a bles­sing.

Text: Heik­ki Hon­ka­la

Tras­la­ti­on: Sirk­ka-Lii­sa Lei­no­nen

You will find the ori­gi­nal Fin­nish blog post here.


Ku­kaan, joka pu­huu Ju­ma­lan Hen­gen val­taa­ma­na, ei voi sa­noa: "Jee­sus on ki­rot­tu." Ku­kaan ei myös­kään voi sa­noa: "Jee­sus on Her­ra", muu­ten kuin Py­hän Hen­gen vai­ku­tuk­ses­ta. 1 Kor. 12:3

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