Friday, December 05, 2008

The Purpose of Blessings

In John Piper's book Don't Waste Your Life, he talks about giving God the glory for all the circumstances in our lives: the good things and the bad things that God uses for our good. We do this by not focusing on the blessing itself, but by focusing on the Giver of that blessing. He illustrates by quoting by C.S. Lewis:

I was standing today in the dark toolshed. The sun was shining outside and through the crack at the top of the door there came a sunbeam. From where I stood that beam of light, with the specks of dust floating in it, was the most striking thing in the place. Everything else was almost pitch-black. I was seeing the beam, not seeing the things by it.

Then I moved, so that the beam fell on my eyes. Instantly the whole previous picture vanished. I saw no toolshed, and (above all) no beam. Instead I saw, framed in the irregular cranny at the top of the door, green leaves moving on the branches of a tree outside and beyond that, ninety-odd million miles away, the sun. Looking along the beam, and looking at the beam are very different experiences.

Piper then goes on to explain

The sunbeams of blessing in our lives are bright in and out of themselves. They also give light to the ground where we walk. But there is a higher purpose for these blessings. God means for us to do more than stand outside them and admire them for what they are. Even more, he means for us to walk into them and see the sun from which they come. If the beams are beautiful, the sun is even more beautiful. God’s aim is not that we merely admire his gifts, but, even more, his glory.


May your day be bright with sunbeams of blessings today and may you look through them and give glory to the Giver of those blessings.

3 comments:

W. Mark Whitlock said...

Jennifer,
Thanks for taking a goldenrod highlighter to the writings of these two great thinkers and encouragers.

May you have many beams of light today . . . and always

Spork said...

There is a quote of Lewis' (probably from somewhere in that same text) over our library at The Master's College...

"I believe in the Word of God the way I believe in the sun. Not because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."

Jennifer said...

Oooh! I like that quote, Spork. I may have to get that collection of essays to read next year.

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