I was letting Joel ‘anchor’ the prosperity half. Also, I think my comments about having a house and a favorite blanket, and a home with God, speak to my gratitude for my portion of prosperity.
One morning, the pastor asked those of us in the congregation who own a car to raise our hands, many hands up, of course. He then said that we should marvel at our blessing because 97% (or was it 99%) of the worlds population does not own a car.
This year I have received wealth far better than gold, silver, or the deed to the house I may lose. Against all odds and what I came to expect of my life, I have been given a piece of my heart back that the world and all it’s harshness had chipped and worn away. I never thought I would see it again as it has been gone so long, I had long resigned myself to life without it.
I went through so many years believing that we embrace life by contending with it and our fears. A few examples: I worked in life threatening job situations, was literally almost killed 3 or 4 times - the rest of the time the job was just extremely dangerous. Another time, I literally stared down (successfully) ‘The Stockton Rapist’ and became a person who walked away unharmed when others didn’t. A year or so later I was the only person in my crowded appt. complex who tried to come to the aid of a woman being attacked on the other side of the fence from my apartment. After all these years, her wild pleadings (she tried to get him to release her by promising him he could have her silverware from her apartment - he laughed in response) still stand my hair on end. DId she wonder why the windows of her neighbors remained dark despite her screams? She didn’t survive - he ‘selected’ her from one side of the fence while I stood about 10 feet away on the other side. Why didn’t he take from my side and not hers? Was it a blessing, a gift, a form of prosperity? I did not deserve to be spared any more than those women deserved to be raped and killed.
What is prosperity? I can and do thank God that He allowed the Holy Spirit to stare down the rapist in the prior year(”The Holy Spirit, after 2000 years, still kickin’ backsides and taking names!”) for me because it was not in my then timid nature to do so, and again that the monster that grabbed the woman next door ‘chose’ the other side of the fence, but if I thank God for this gift do I insult those who’s wife or daughter didn’t come home safely?
This year, the painful past and the difficult (and still difficult) life I lead and the pain and suffering I see on TV or a drive to the store, came together in a gift of healing that I never dreamed was possible. MIRACLE. MY MIRACLE. I GET TO HAVE A MIRACLE!!!! ME???
No human accomplished this for me - it was the persistent, unfailing grace of God. And it felt like I finally knew that God could see my face ( I have loved Him since I was 10 but I didn’t understand the way he felt about me - I really misunderstood) and it feels better than anything I could want or need, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything I own or once owned or dreamed of owning. It is not tied to any person or thing on earth, just God, so it can’t be taken away. My prosperity does not need an armed guard or FOrt Knox.
I certainly don’t have all the answers and I expect to fall back many times into my fearful ways - but I have proof that what the world does to us, not God but the harsh world we live in, God washes away in His own time. But the world and living in it, can be so very harsh and unfair. Life is unfair, God isn’t. Pardon the long ‘Christmas Rant’ but I am feeling so grateful and, well...rich, I wanted to tell someone...couldn’t keep it in.
Wow. You’ve had some amazing experiences.
I think the prosperity message gets lost because so many people think only of money. But most Christians miss out on the many blessings that are freely available to us because they focus only on the money part of it. Both rich people and poor people can be guilty of having a focus only on money.
Blessings of love, peace, joy, health, protection, shelter, etc., these are all spoken of in many places in the Bible as part of our Covenant. Seems like we see so few people who actually receive any of them, though. For some reason it can be difficult to receive what is freely given; they can’t accept that God wants to provide for them. You have obviously received some of His provisions, as have I.
God bless and Merry Christmas.