By Kenneth Braswell
When I was growing up in Brooklyn, I can still remember the overwhelming excitement when we heard the ice cream truck come through the neighborhood. We would all run to the windows beneath where we lived and shout up to our mothers, “Mama the ice cream man is coming, throw me some money.” On occasion that would happen. On other occasions it would not. On good days my mother would tell me to bring her something as well. Many times when I arrived to the house with my mom’s ice cream in tow, she would make me stay in the house with her to eat the ice cream. You can imagine how I felt because I wanted nothing more than to run back outside and eat my ice cream in front of my friends. But my mother understood something I did not. Every parent in our neighborhood wasn’t blessed to send their child to the ice cream man.
As a child I couldn’t understand what it meant to be uncomfortably blessed. How could GOD bless you with something, but you couldn’t let others know you had it. Being poor I grew up in times that God would place us in positions to occasionally do things we could not normally do like, eat ice cream, go to the movies, get a new pair of sneakers, buy a new piece of furniture or go on a trip. Many times that came after somebody “hit the number.” Yet at the same time those who were just as poor as we were; would watch the blessings of others waiting for their turn/blessing to arrive. It was at those times, we would have to enjoy our blessings in quiet and with humility.
Blessings reveal beautiful spirits in some; for others the intensity of hatred and disgust. Thus, at a time you should rejoice in what GOD has done for you, even if it’s momentary; human nature forces you to hold it in.
Sometimes God will bless you in an uncomfortable position. At those times, you have to be aware that everybody won’t understand why you were blessed and question why not them. In fact, will protest your blessing, reject your legitimacy and even attempt to strip you of that which God has given you. In Genesis 4:6 after Cain and Able exchanged offerings to their father; Cain walked away rejected and God asked him, “Why are you so angry?” The parable then says that God said to him, you will be accepted if you answer the question correctly. God was testing the loyalty of his heart by asking Cain to tell HIM what he really felt. However, jealousy, envy, despite, anger and revenge; I suppose were too shameful to reveal. In response to both the situation and the question; Cain killed his only brother.
I have to believe that when Cain walked away, Abel felt uncomfortably blessed. Further; in his mind the situation did not change the way he felt about his brother. Why else would he follow him into the fields?
In Genesis 37:5 Joseph was given a gift by his father Jacob that made his brothers hate him. So much so his brothers did not have a kind word to say about him. Joseph then reveals to his brothers a dream which the scripture says caused them to hate him even more. They went on to ridicule, taunt, strip him of his gift and eventually threw him in a pit and then sold him into slavery. What calculated extremes to go to in denying one’s blessings. However, if you live long enough, it will happen to you.
There is nothing more painful than to not be able to share your joy. There is nothing more hurtful than to have those close to you rather see you die without your blessing than to live with it. I learned a long time ago to be pleased with another man’s blessing. That what another person has or possess doesn’t speak to what GOD has for me. In fact the blessings of another, affirms my belief that GOD is still a miracle serving GOD. I’m clear that my obedience and faith will bring me the harvest of the Father if I continue to plant the seeds of purpose intended for me.
Therefore when they attack; stay the course. Even take a moment to bow your head in prayer and shed some tears. But when you lift your head, move with the vigor, intensity and urgency of your purpose. Always look to the hills from which your help will come. As hard as it might be, stay prayerful that GOD will heal your enemies and place a hedge of protection around you. In the moment, this may be the hardest thing you will ever have to do; but GOD is testing your faith and your understanding that the battle is not yours. Distractions and detractors are part of the blessings.
So, if you have to eat your ice cream in the comfort of your own presence, do it with a thankful heart, an open mind and forgiving nature. As with Job, GOD will test your ability to withstand the attack. On the other side you will be stronger, the enemy will be exposed for what it is and your faith will be renewed and strengthen. It’s unfortunate, but sometimes you will have to be uncomfortably blessed. The bottom line is; YOU ARE BLESSED and nothing can take that away from you; especially the world.