Written on April 24, 2017.
Many years ago, when our biggles were littles and there were but three, I read a book about giving blessings and set about to apply it. The idea was that we would line the kids up in a “train” and as each one knelt before us, we would speak a blessing over them. That was the idea. The result was a pile of wiggling, giggling fleshy frames. We tried several times before realizing that we would need to find a way to bless our bundles in the midst of moving moments everyday. Or when they were sleeping, lol.
As this Passover season utterly ran me through, my heart returned to the beauty of bless, in the final earthly act of a man turned Savior. He led them, His disciples out, away from every doubt and distraction. He had risen from His grave and now needed to call them from theirs. To resurrect, He blessed.
“Lifting up his hands, He blessed them. While He blessed them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven.”
He wasn’t dissuaded by the weakness they had each displayed, for He knew what they needed. Strength. A firmness and fortitude only He could give. For blessing conveys the proposal of a weakness, our weakness, being compensated for. Reimbursed and recouped.
But sometimes, more than we want it to be true, we won’t bow for the bless until we see how close we are to the curse.
Two short days before Passover, Yeshua said to them:
“Tonight, you will all lose faith in me, as the Tanakh says ‘I will strike the shepherd dead, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ Matthew 26:31 (CJB)
My. Heart. Can’t. Stand. It.
You will all lose faith. You won’t believe me anymore. You will wage war against my will instead of walking in it. Clinging to curse instead of bending for bless.
It wasn’t long until they fulfilled His word. At the home of a leper who had not yet overcome the stench and stigma. A woman. What she carried was named, though she was not. Yet. An alabaster jar in her hands. A prophecy upon her heart. She split it and spilt it. All over Jesus.
And the disciples scattered. Everything they had believed now a curse they wanted to be rid of. And they slung them all like daggers, towards His very heart.
"How could you? Why don’t you? You won’t. You can’t.” Feeding on a daily dose of conclusions instead of feasting on daily bread.
Jesus welcomed the unleash of extravagance to Him and for Simon. One man’s time had come. Another’s would pass. The shamed now shameless.
And the disciples said, “Why this waste? This perfume could have been sold and given to the poor.”
But it wasn’t perfume. It was praise. Praise can never be sold, but always offered.
And the disciples cursed what they weren’t capable of. They couldn’t yet praise. Extravagance eluded them. “How could you give Simon what he needed and not us what we wanted” they cried. And one left, bound for betrayal.
His answer filled the room, fragrant with spice. For this wasn’t just for one. It was for all. It’s always for all. It always will be. Soon, a shudder and shake will crack me wide and you will receive the extravagance of never covering yourselves. For if you try to find cloak and cape, you won’t be able to pour out to others that which they need.
They stood in the bouquet of bless. Jesus did what He will always do. He took hold of the loose thread of the sweater. They twisted and turned, away, until that which they had clothed themselves with lay in a formless heap at their feet. At His. Then he shaped every strand into a robe. For when they were ready. To wear Him.
We are not such different disciples. How often do we curse that which we aren’t capable of? Our incapability incapacitates when we cling to the curse instead of breaking for the blessing.
Year ago, I was on a golf course which was a favorite place of mine. This particular day was the regional tournament my high school team had advanced to. I was designated the low medalist because of my score at our district meet. At district, I played the game of my life. Regionals, Not so much.
If the hole had been the Grand Canyon, I couldn’t have gotten the ball in it. Near the last few holes, I had pummeled the ball so many times (each one taking it farther from the hole) that I’m sure the shell was gone and the pulp inside was running through the grass. The last two holes were near the clubhouse. I know not how long this particular official had watched me. I also know not if he yelled out to me in order to stop his pain or mine. I just heard the shout when it came. “Just take a ten honey.” Take a ten in golf terms was mercy. It meant to write a ten for that hole even if you had hit the ball twenty times. In other words, take a knee. Bend for bless.
I’m pretty sure the number of curses I spoke at least equaled the number of times I hit the ball that day. Myself for being inadequate. I probably threw my coach in for believing in me enough to put me in the category he did. And I may have tossed my teammates in as they received medals and I just had the medallion made from my curses.
He knows. He doesn’t disqualify, He bends. Eleven beloveds cursed. One betrayed. One broke His heart, but eleven kept it beating. That helps me so much. To know I keep His heart beating.
Jesus told the disciples they would be scattered, not shattered. And every word He said to them, culminated in a blessing. One that empowered them to be able to do what was not in their natural capabilities.
And He does the same for us. All day, every day. “You can’t do it? Bend for the bless.” He aches when we don’t. When we won’t. For He longs to declare Pappa’s favor over us. And to power the prosperity of the blessing. He melts when we let Him motivate us along the course of the blessing so we see the fullness of it. So we become the fullness and take it wherever we go.
The disciples were scattered. Stems that once leaned hard right and left, now strong and stout. All that they believed about Him (and them) hung upon them like the feathery seeds of a dandelion. Spirit hovered blowing each seed across the earth. Each sinking into soil, thrusting roots and sprouting fruit. They weren’t capable of that type of strew and spread. Without blessing they couldn’t unroll and unfurl in such a way. And neither can we.
Let Pappa reveal someone he has for you to bless. To speak truth and life to or for. Journal all He says, them let him guide you in how to release it to them.
Prepare a time of blessing for those at your table this week. As part of your preparation, take a risk and bless with the Hebrew model as a guide. A Hebrew blessing has five portions.
Touch. By touching as you bless, you are communicating that the person is received where they are, how they are. In America, though we are home of the brave, land of the free, touch seems cause us to feign frailty instead of finding our fierce. Its funny though. Studies have found that sports teams that swat, slap, pat and poke each other are more victorious than teams that don’t. So, when we touch each other – we are actually encouraging each other to victory!!
Spoken words. Speaking to a person why we believe in them and what we believe for them unleashes a portion of power!
Word pictures. As each Hebrew letter has a pictograph that walks alongside it, so can our blessings. Read the blessings of the tribes sometime. Each tribe had its own path and received the blessing that would help them remain upon it no matter what plan the enemy had! Example – Joseph. It was said he was a fruitful vine, near a spring whose branches climbed over walls. Though much came against him, the declaration of his blessing was that he would always overcome.
Imagine what is to come. As we bless, its so crucial to share that what is to come has saved a place for us. This speaks to all we can’t see yet. I was thinking of Issac and his blessing up Jacob. He was so near blindness, he couldn’t see even who he was blessing. Yet he connected to the Lord and spoke of the what was to come. He didn’t need to see to do that, he needed to know the One who sees!
Commit. We are pretty familiar with prophetic words. They are awesome for sure. Yet, as we bless each other, it truly matters that we are committed to seeing that blessing come to fulness. Thats part of community, of family. So as part of blessing, we yield ourselves to remind each other, encourage each other, participate with each other towards the blessing.