Do you feel better now? I hear people getting blessed all the time, when they sneeze. In ancient times, people worried that the soul would come out with the sneeze, where the devil might steal it. A blessing would put it back safely.
But really, what is the point of a blessing? Is there something we should know here? I learned some lessons about blessing yesterday.
I already know that words spoken into the air have no power, unless God does a miracle. OK, not ‘no power’; I might feel better about myself if I hear myself saying the words, but the other guy only gets words.
“Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?” (James 2: 16)
Blessings are common in the Bible, so they must be a good idea. In ancient Israel, the priests were told to say these words to the people:
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6: 24 to 26)
A blessing is something you do. I taught a class yesterday, for aspiring truck drivers. The group was a mix of immigrants, young men from country areas, and older men who needed a new job. They were not rich, and all were hoping for the kind of job that most people don’t want, with hard work, long hours, and an average paycheck. One African man drove many miles from a remote town up north, through ice and snow, and he had to drive home the same day. I had to wake him up several times; he was so tired.
What I gave them opened the door for job applications. If I didn’t do my best work, they would be blocked, and that would be a crisis for them. I have probably taught that course hundreds of times, two or three times a week, for years. If you have a question about air brakes on trucks, I don’t have to look up the answer. If someone offered me more money, or fame, or a more interesting topic, I would take it with a smile. I’m not complaining, and I feel like I’m in a good place, but I feel like God is keeping me there, and sometimes I wonder why. Is this all there is?
I looked at all those intent faces yesterday, and I knew something.
God wants to bless them.
Someone is looking down on them, and wants good things in their lives. It’s not about me, and I am doing fine anyway. My needs are all provided; they are the ones who need help. I have the privilege to be the voice and hands of God in that room, and that is a great career for me.
I recommend the same for you. The Christian life is not just a business where we get good things, or we say empty words. It’s a courier business. We deliver God’s blessings, big and small, and there is no unemployment for us. It’s not about us, but we will be cared for; people with that attitude are very employable.
I hope you can find your courier career, the reason why you are still here.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5: 3 to 12)