Bless His Heart (and not in the way Southerner’s mean it, if you know what I mean.)
I have a practice. Before I go to bed I pull into focus 3 things in my day that I appreciate and a hero for the day. I jot them down and drop them into my ‘Appreciation Jar’. I need this practice to counter how easy it is for me to focus on the discouragements and my complaints in life. I need this practice to take myself into appreciation for God who is the Giver of all Good things.
In bed last night I found myself interacting with God regarding the psalmist admonition to himself. I set about to claim it for myself. Being my own cheerleader I said, “Bless the Lord, oh Maribeth, with all that is within you.”
It fascinates me how God enters into ‘thought conversations’, and brings me into expanded understandings. This time He took our attention to Moses’ blessing in Numbers 6: 22-26.
22 The Lord said to Moses, 23 “ ‘This is how you are to bless the people. Say to them:
24 “‘“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’
Wow! It is not only a pattern of how I can invoke God’s blessings onto others. It is a guide for how I can be a person of blessing to those God brings into my life.
As I intentionally set about to see others as God sees them, my face can light up in delight as I connect with them. I can shine my face!
I can act in ways that graciously bring good to others, giving them space to belong. I can keep them in my heart.
I can intentionally turn my face, placing my focus on others and what is happening in their lives and souls. I then can act to increase peace- an increase of life being ‘set right’ through our relationship.
Then as I pondered this remarkable pattern of living the blessing into other’s lives, a delightfully helpful insight emerged. I can live Moses’ prayer of blessing back into my relationship with God. I can bless my Lord!
My soul blessed Him, saying,
“Amazing God, I have found YOU to be the most constant, wise, practically involved Presence in my life from infancy on! You alone! You have kept your eye on me, orchestrating care and protection for my soul regardless of any situation that I have lived! You have kept me on a path that is leading towards increasing life! You have blessed me by keeping me! YOU are a KEEPER! And I gladly will keep YOU!
While I acknowledge it still is hard for me to grasp how Your face lights up with delight as I come to Your mind (which is all the time), I am infinitely glad! I am refreshed when people like and delight in me. And to have You, the God of the universe, all excited about me is no little thing! You light up my life, my world and my face!
As I reflect on memories of Your non-judgmental acceptance, care and generous love gifts, of the times you have walked me through valleys of the shadow of death and into greener pastures to refreshing waters for my soul- I can feel my eyes start to light up and a smile emerge on my face. My face shines in appreciation of YOU!
Yes, I keep YOU.
My face shines as my attention is drawn to YOU.
As I turn the attention of the my soul on You, I am settled into a place of shalom.
May I continue to expand myself into appreciation of YOU, which will spontaneously splash onto others. I will get to offer something into Your heart’s desire. Living in a manner that is in YOUR best interest will bring a delightful ‘karma’ back around to me and onto others. What a delightful cycle you have drawn me into. Yes, YOU are worthy of my soul’s admiration and blessings!