Thankful, Blessed – Still a Mess

By: Kristi Mitchell

What does life have to be like for you to feel blessed and thankful?  Is it only when your finances are overflowing?  Do you only count yourself blessed when you are near family and friends?  What does blessing mean to you – that new baby, new home, new car, or new job?

Certainly those things and people can be blessings in our lives.  Blessings should always evoke our thankful spirit.  But what about those who never hold that baby, move into that dream home, or always struggle with money?  Are they any less blessed?

I’m reminded of Job.  He lost so much so quickly.  I don’t know that anyone would call him blessed when it happened.  He lost his wealth, health, and family – far from looking blessed to the outsider!  

Yet, what did he do?  He “fell down upon the ground and worshipped.”  No matter where your life is today, can you find an expression of gratitude?  We know that those are the times when the Lord does things that others notice.  

Let’s shout like Job today…  “the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.”   Don’t wait until all seems perfect.  Blessed knows no boundaries.

Perfectly Imperfect

By: Kristi Mitchell

The ocean water lapped at my feet as I stood at the edge watching my family enjoy
the beautiful day. Suddenly, I felt something wash up at my feet. I looked down
to see a beautiful conch shell waiting for me to pick it up. In all my years at the
beach, I’ve only found the regular shells that are common to beachgoers. This
was a unique beauty! The perfect shell for my collection!

I picked it up to put my find in my beach bag. To my disappointment, I found that
my beautiful treasure was missing a piece out of the middle. So sad. I really
believed that I had found the perfect souvenir to bring back from my vacation.

As I was about to throw it back to continue its journey in the ocean, something
stopped me. When I hesitated, I felt a small voice reassure me to keep that shell.
Why? It wasn’t the perfect souvenir that I wanted to put with my collection.

Suddenly I envisioned this shell being tossed to and fro in the ocean current. The
obstacles it faced to land at my feet became clear to me. Though it wasn’t
perfect, it was meant to be mine – as perfectly imperfect that it was.

My mind is brought to a verse in 2 Corinthians that provides an answer to a prayer
that Paul prayed multiple times. God’s answer was “my grace is sufficient for thee:
for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Paul realizes that he should “glory in
my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

In Him, we are perfectly imperfect. Though we deal with sin, trials, tribulations,
failures, and depression, He sees us through His love.
His love makes us perfect. Perfectly imperfect.