23”Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, 24The Lord bless you and keep you; 25the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; 26the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. 27”So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.” Numbers 6:23-27
During this time of the year we celebrate Thanksgiving. We are urged to remember the goodness of the year and to count our blessings. The Lord instructs Aaron through Moses to pronounce blessing. The first thing to note is that blessing much like grace cannot be earned only received. He begins with a reminder that it is not what we do, but it is the Lord who blesses and keeps us. I am so grateful that it does not all depend on me, that God is in control of all. God is in control of this world and in control even in the mess of life.
The days are also growing shorter. There is less daylight than we have in the other three seasons and in some cases people can develop what some call the ‘winter blues’ because of lack of sunlight. It is so powerful that it can have effects on us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. No matter the circumstance the Lord will make his face to shine upon us and be gracious unto us. In our darkest physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual days, the Lord makes the radiance of his face to shine upon us. That is truly an act of grace.
In lifting up or turning his face upon us is an act of favor and blessing. It demonstrates that God is aware of all that is going on in our lives. God sees, God knows, and knowing ourselves that the Lord is at work both in the world and in our own lives will give us peace. It is truly a comfort to know that the Lord has is looking favorably in our direction and desiring to bless us.
The blessing is so great that God will place his name upon the people. We not only have a blessing but we carry the name of the Lord as we walk through life. What a blessing to be called his and to be told how he will bless.
Count your blessings? There is not enough time, or hours in the day! Instead be mindful of the blessings we experience daily and remember to give thanks to our gracious, loving, radiant God who turns his face toward us in favor and wants us to have peace.