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July in southern Missouri is hot. Really, really hot.

Great weather for staining decks.

Well, not so much. But my friend Tammy and her two kids were staining a deck anyway. Because sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate, and you gotta do what you gotta do.

Tammy’s daughter, Cadi, knew the weather was supposed to be unbearably hot and humid, so she asked God to send a breeze throughout the day. As they worked, from time to time a breeze stirred the air,  and Cadi thanked God for it.

This lifted Cadi’s spirits, of course. But it didn’t do much for her younger brother’s state of mind. Where Travis was sitting, the porch was blocking the breeze and he couldn’t feel it. He became increasingly frustrated in the heat.

So, being the concerned sister that she is, Cadi told him to move. And of course we all know how much little brothers listen to big sisters. Travis promptly told Big Sis that he didn’t want to move unless he knew the breeze was coming.

And here was her answer: (It’s so good I’m directly quoting her.)

“That’s like how some people miss out on the blessings of God. They have something in the way, blocking them, and they wonder why they don’t receive God’s blessings. But they don’t want to remove the obstacle because they are comfortable or want to see their blessings come first.”

Wow. (Go ahead, read it again. I’ll wait.)

What a perfect illustration of what we do so many times! We say we want the blessings of God in our lives, but we won’t do what is necessary to put ourselves in the path of those blessings.

Take our relationship with God, for instance. Most of us would say we desire to be closer to God. But are we willing to take the steps for this to happen? Are we willing to set the alarm early to spend time with God? Are we willing to pour over His Word? Are we willing to spend much time in prayer?

And what about our prayers for God to meet our needs and bless us financially? Are we willing to put into practice the stewardship principles found in God’s Word? Willing to give up the status quo of keeping up with the Joneses and be content with what God gives us? Willing to give generously to God’s work?

Sadly, we as Christians often treat the blessings of God as things we automatically deserve. But read just a few chapters of the Bible, and we quickly learn this is not the case.

If you want to be refreshed, sit where the breeze can reach you.

And if you want to be blessed, put yourself in the path of God’s blessings.

“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” (Joshua 1:8)