“We know that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
“The doctor told my mom and dad I would not make it through the night.” Barron, M.D., Riverside General Hospital, 1957
64 years ago, just past midnight, after hours of trying to protect both my mom and me from a disastrous birth after only 7 months of pregnancy, the doctor told my mom and dad I would not make it through the night.
Cries of denial and unrelenting tears accompanied nurses when they placed my tiny 3-pound body into an incubator, fully expecting to have to arrange for disposing of my remains before the sun would dare to rise.
My mom tells me it was nearly two-months later before they could bring me home from the hospital. She said I guess, God had other plans.
“I was scared to death of you!” my mom
My mom and dad were only 19-years old and did not know how to take care of a healthy baby, much less one doctors said had no chance of surviving the emergency birth.
From one hour to the next, day after day, they worried they would not be able to keep me alive. And in their sleep-deprived haze, they wondered aloud, why God spared me from near-certain death.
They asked, what would his living through this bring? The worry in those early days was whether I would be permanently disabled and forced to live a life filled with handicaps.
Pastor Steven Furtick, if he were around way back then, would have explained to my mom and dad that they were looking at this event in our lives wrong. He would have told them to look at my birth as a blessing from God…a BETA Blessing.1
“A BETA Blessing is an act of God in our lives that we don’t at first see as a blessing.” Pastor Steven Furtick
“A BETA Blessing is an act of God in our lives that we don’t see at first as a blessing,” Furtick defines such in a recent sermon entitled ‘BETA Blessings.’
Steven Furtick Jr. is the founder and lead pastor of the multi-worship site called Elevation Church. It is a worldwide online streaming and television church, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, having begun in 2006. The church reports a global congregation of more than 17,000 members.
BETA refers to a particular version of something that is still being tested or is still under development. In the world of technology, such an effort would be colloquially described as “working the bugs out.”
“And from His fulness we have all received, grace upon grace.”John 1:16
Furtick explains that Jesus says He is the Alpha, the first, and the Omega, the last. What God gives us in His constant presence in our lives is endless blessings in between the beginning and the end of our earthly lives, growing us to be what He wants us to be.
We just do not always see the hard times in our lives for the blessings they are meant to be.
Beta Blessings by Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church
“Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, and I need blessings for all the spaces in between…Beta blessings.” Pastor Stephen Furtick
Some of God’s greatest blessings…obviously some enjoyable and others painful…are evidence of God’s working on us and in us, making us into the likeness of His Son, even when we do not see it.
We are a work in progress. God grows by way of blessings, some are just in disguise.
1 “BETA Blessings,’ by Pastor Stephen Furtick, Elevation Church Worship Sermon, 2020.