Sometimes God’s blessings can be challenging. For example, we might not think that those who are meek and those who mourn are blessed. And we certainly wouldn’t celebrate the blessings of those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, would we? It’s even more challenging when we remember that the word “blessed” in Scripture could also be translated as “happy.” Would we think of those people as happy? Probably not, but God does.
Elijah the Tishbite knew this blessing of God too. The prophet’s job is always a demanding one. It’s one of great blessing, because the prophet is called by God and formed from his mother’s womb. But it’s also a great challenge: people don’t usually want to hear what a prophet says – after all, if they were open to the message, a prophet probably wouldn’t be necessary – and quite often the prophets were chased out of town, beaten, and even murdered. Elijah’s job was going to be challenging, but it would also be blessed: God provided for his needs at Wadi Cherith and at the end of his life, whisked him off to heaven in a chariot of fire.
So it’s important for us to remember, I think, that while God never promises to make our lives free and easy, he does promise to bless us. He will bless us with whatever gifts we need to do the work he has called us to do, the work for which he formed us in our mother’s womb. The happiness of the blessing might not come in this life, but we who do God’s will can look forward to our reward, which Jesus promises will be great, in heaven.