This article was originally published by Mennonite World Review

Redeeming the curse — count your blessings

I’ve been thinking (and blogging) about how even the brambles and pests in our gardens can be unexpected blessings from God. I have found myself reflecting a lot about the aspects of my personality that I once thought of as curses and now recognize as blessings.

I have a photographic memory and absorb facts and figures like a sponge. My family found it embarrassing, my friends found it strange and men found me intimidating. I have lost count of the times I was told I thought like a man and not a woman. Often growing up I felt embarrassed, sometimes even ashamed of this aspect of my personality which so often kept me isolated and distanced from others. I tried to hide the uniqueness of who God had created me to be. It was very definitely a curse and not a blessing from my perspective.

Now I realize that so much I have accomplished in my life would have been impossible without that gift which I had for so long regarded as a curse. My ability to gather and process facts was really important as I developed the medical ministry for Mercy Ships. It has been just as important as I put together resource lists for this blog and even more important as I process the huge number of books I read every week. Even as I garden and write prayers and books, it is my memory and ability to retain and process facts and figures that has provided a platform for what I do.

Sometimes I feel that I suffer from verbal diarrhea and that the quantity of what I process and write about is a little overwhelming for some. One of my friends jokingly told me one day that I need to develop a new blog — Godspace Light. But that no longer bothers me. I know that this is a gift that God has given me. I am grateful for it and humbled by the ways that God has used it to bless the lives of others.

What this makes me realize however is that all of us are blessed with gifts from God that we often begin seeing as curses. Maybe a disability like Tourette. Tom and I recently watched Front of the Class about a young teacher who has Tourette syndrome. At the end of the film he too gives credit to his “curse” for being a wonderful gift in his life and making him all that God intends him to be.

Part of what prompted this post for me is talking to a friend of ours whose son has just been diagnosed as autistic. They were devastated, until they realized that the personality traits that labelled him as autistic are actually much sought after in high-tech businesses.

Perhaps your curse is being born into poverty, of being abused as a child, or having an addiction to alcohol or drugs. These too God can redeem and transform into gifts that God can use to bring into being that new world of wholeness and abundance that God is in the process of bringing into being.

Even the curse of the tower of Babel and the confusion of languages was redeemed by God at Pentecost. And what fascinates me is that God does not redeem it by making people all speak the same language, God redeems it by maintaining language diversity, but makes it possible for people to understand each other, something that I am sure adds much more richness to the kingdom of God.

So what do you think? My challenge to you today is to spend time in prayer and allow the spirit of God to identify your curse. What is it in your life that God wants to redeem and transform into a gift? Or what in your life has God already redeemed for which you have never come back to God with gratitude and thankfulness.

Christine Sine is executive director of Mustard Seed Associates, a small organization founded by her and her husband, Tom Sine, to assist churches and Christian organizations to engage the challenges of the 21st century. She writes at God space, where this post originally appeared. 

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