"God is really blessing our ministry."
What does that mean? Well, when pastors get together, it usually means that numbers are increasing, baptisms are taking place, and the church is relatively problem-free.
Why is it that no one ever says "God is blessing" when attendance is going down faster than the Lions' Super Bowl hopes in September and problems are increasing faster than the price of a barrel of oil?
My recent ruminations on the goodness of affliction has reminded me that blessings sometimes look like something else. In the end, the greatest blessing must be the increased knowledge of God and will, regardless of the circumstances that God uses to bring that knowledge into our life.
So while I reject the Bob Knight theory of bad things, I am reminded that afflictions are blessings because they remind us of our hopelessness and helplessness alongside of God's great grace.