Written by Lynn Sibley
Genesis 12:2 NLT I will bless you and…make you a blessing to others.
What is a blessing? The Bible and the dictionary give several definitions of the word blessing: happiness; something that brings well-being; a beneficial thing for which one is grateful; and of course, God’s favor and protection. What then, does it mean to be a blessing to others? In this verse from Genesis, God is promising Abraham that He will give him his favor and protection and in turn, Abraham will bring happiness and well-being to his nation and through his descendants, the other nations of the Earth! Wow—how far a blessing can reach! Of course, for all of this to happen, there is a condition—Abraham had to follow God and do what God wanted him to do.
Fast forward through history and we see that God has never stopped blessing his people or wanting them to be a blessing to others. He is always there to give us his favor and protection—all we need to do is follow Him and ask Him. In return for that, He wants us to reach out to others so that He can bless them through us. This isn’t hard to do. Have you ever given someone something that was needed? Have you ever soothed a child, encouraged a teen, listened to a distraught adult, spent time with a senior who is alone? Giving money to your church and/or various charities spreads blessings out in many directions. These things are easy to do and they bring others happiness and well-being and directly or indirectly, the knowledge that God is working in their lives.
My favorite way of spreading blessings has become my involvement with the Ramps of Hope ministry of the UMC. Armstrong County has a ramp building team comprised of people from all four churches of the Allegheny River Charge, and all four churches have given money for the work of the team. That is an example of blessings that make other blessings possible! The mission of this ministry is to enhance the lives of people with limited mobility by giving them safe and easy access to their own homes for a simple donation of whatever they can afford. Because of those wonderful volunteers and money from the churches, grants, caring individuals and organizations, this team has built 122 ramps and blessed the lives of all folks associated with each of those ramps. Yes, blessings go far! Every time a ramp is completed, the joy seen on the recipient’s face when they realize they have been given some independence back, is a true blessing for the team! Recipients often tell me they saw God at work for them in the building of the ramp. They knew they were blessed! And because of that happiness, it is certainly possible that they will think about passing blessings on to others. God at work!
A few days ago, I had a small blessing bestowed on me. I was at the drive-through at Dunkin’ Donuts to get a hot chocolate. When I reached the window, the girl handed me my drink and said the woman in the car ahead of me had paid for it. I felt so happy when I heard that! I didn’t know the woman and I certainly could have afforded the drink, but she was simply being kind and passing a blessing to a stranger. It inspires me to do the same for someone else. That is an example of how blessings spread easily and glorify God every time they are given because that is what He wants us to do!