My mother-in-law gave me a book for my birthday and it sat on the shelf until a writer I enjoy a few weeks ago quoted the author, Tina Boesch. God knew, though, as He does, when I would most appreciate and absorb the truth of this work. It wouldn’t have landed the same a year ago.
She writes, “The future is the province of blessing. Blessings are prayers with the horizon in view. they communicate good I long to see realized in your life, and they acknowledge, implicitly, that God alone is capable of accomplishing that good. Blessings carry us from the present moment into future grace.”
What a beautiful practice. One I’m not familiar with but am deeply intrigued by after reading this book.
I don’t normally feel this strongly, but I have to say it here, to get the full effect of this idea, you have to read the book yourself. I have a feeling I will return to it.
A few of my favorite passages…
God’s presence is the ultimate blessing, the wellspring from which all other blessings flow.
The blessing of Abraham anticipates the gospel in its global scope. It transcends a particular clan, reaching across ethnic and racial divisions and prejudicial barriers. It is for anyone who, like Abraham, believes that God will accomplish what he has promised. We draw near to God through the same faith that invited Abraham into God’s confidence. By faith, the blessing falls on us, too.
Our attention or inattention, care or indifference, seeing or blindness, blessing or negativity — they all have an inestimable impact on the spiritual landscape of the children in our car. The blessing of our children can’t be separated from the vitality of our own relationship with God. Blessing begins with seeing both our children and the God who blesses us.
The goal of blessing our children shouldn’t be to insulate them from the world; it should be to fill them with the spiritual reserves to face whatever challenges they find there.
God’s blessing is like the oxygen surrounding us — the essential thing we need each moment each day to keep our souls pumping. It’s so strange that some people confuse God’s essential blessing with prosperity. Wealth, compared to presence, is a wisp of a shadow, a drop of water as opposed to a running river. God’s blessing is something to bathe in, not something to possess, to display. God’s blessing is a cosmos, a calling, a cross, a reason for being, a way of relating.
Within the old covenant, priests mediated God’s blessing to the people, but as children of a new covenant, we’re called to mediate God’s goodness and grace to one another. Anyone in Christ can bless, because in Christ, we are both priests and family.
Blessings were never meant to be traded, bartered, bought. God’s blessing is never — never ever — for sale. If you could buy a blessing, then it would be a transaction, not a gift. And blessing is a gift, always a gift. No strings attached.
Sorrow isn’t blessing, but the healing presence of the Lord in the midst of sorrow is a profound blessing. In the most devastating of situations, the places of most excruciating loss, there is only one inexhaustible source of comfort — the presence of God.
A blessing for around the table: Blessed are you, Lord God, our Creator and King, for showing us your kindness in giving us life, your goodness in giving us food, and your love in giving us each other.
Before forgiving others, we receive his forgiveness. Before loving, we receive his love. Before blessing, we receive his blessing. Then we open our hearts to give the way we’ve received.
Blessing is a pilgrimage into learning how to love. I’ve seen how God’s blessing is a creative force that sustains life and invites us into relationship. His blessing calls us to let go and follow him into uncharted territory. It enables us to see with spiritual vision, transforms us, shapes our identity, and ushers in a climate of flourishing that anticipates the new creation of the world to come. I’ve learned that a total orientation of the self — attitude, actions, and spoken prayers toward the future good of others — is what’s involved in becoming blessing. And a distinctly Christian view of blessing acknowledges that God alone is the source of good, that his presence among us is ultimate blessing, and that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross freed us from the curse to find peace with God so that we can live in — and as — blessing.