I recently read Jesus’ sermon on the mount and have been considering it ever since. The human being on earth that I had the privilege to witness exhibit so many of the qualities Jesus highlighted in His beatitudes was my mother. So much so that I have annotations in multiple Bibles asserting things like “My mother was like this.” Why was she a peacemaker? Why was she merciful? Why was she meek? Because she experienced trials in her life.
When I sat down to scribe this post, I re-read Matthew 5:1-12 in several of my Bible translations. Being the lover of words I am, I then promptly searched for Greek and Latin roots and affixes featuring “be” or “beat,” and bingo...I found both in a list of Latin roots. The English meaning of the Latin roots “be” and “beat” is bless.
What I’m thinking is that there is blessing in both the situation in which we find ourselves (poor in spirit, mourning, meek, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, making peace, and suffering persecution) and the outcome or result of those conditions.
Someone recently commented that they noticed mercifulness in me. My reply? The only reason I have mercy is that I have experienced hardship. You see, that is where the blessings begin. In the hardships we face. The trials we undergo. The tribulations we encounter. As we experience troubles, the very character of Jesus forms in us. And when people who are going through similar situations need an encouraging word or deed, we are then equipped to serve.
Blessings. Beatitudes. As our character in Christ forms. And as we encourage others.
Let’s commit to bless others as we have been blessed.
Kimberly S. Lancaster
January 1, 2018