Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Beloved Blessing

Thursdays - Devotions for Writers

"The Lord bless you and keep you: the Lord make His face
shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His
countenance upon you and give you peace."
(Num. 6: 24-26 NKJV)

Growing up, I heard this blessing spoken by the pastor at the end of every church service. Even as a child, there was something about the words that felt special.

I no longer attend traditional services, opting for contemporary worship and music. Hearing this blessing is probably the one thing I miss . . .

Why? How could so few words make me feel so wrapped up in God’s love?

The Lord bless you . . .
All good things come from God. But this means more than physical blessings, the ability to pay our bills – or getting awesome book contracts. It includes being in relationship with Him in order to not to feel spiritual hunger or thirst.

. . . and keep you:
The idea of "keep you" is divine protection - spiritual protection. He keeps us safe. As Christian writers it’s not uncommon to experience “attacks” in our lives that hinder us from writing and fulfilling our purpose. There are forces in the world who will do everything they can to stop us from sharing the good news of God’s love and healing presence.

the Lord make His face shine upon you
Imagine it. Doesn’t that bring the image of warmth and caring? Awareness of God's presence brings comfort to the faithful.

and be gracious to you
Our God is merciful and compassionate. He desires to forgive us when we mess up. And we will mess up!

the Lord lift up His countenance upon you
This means . . . may the Lord look upon you with approval. We want the Lord to be pleased with how we’re using our talents, opportunities, and lives.

. . . and give you peace.
In this crazy, hectic, stressful world, who doesn’t want and need assurance and peace. Jesus can give the kind of peace that passes all understanding.

Having this blessing said over me gives me a sense of comfort, warmth, and peace. I’ve also discovered that by slightly changing the words, I can also say them as a prayer.

The Lord bless me and keep me: the Lord make His face shine upon me and be gracious to me; the Lord lift up His countenance upon me and give me peace.



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