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Posts Tagged ‘The Aaronic Blessing’

Around four years ago, while attending a women’s event at our church, I began talking with a young mum sitting nearby. Her face and manner were so open and honest, as she shared the good things happening in her life but also the challenges of balancing all the demands of managing her young family with work and other responsibilities. As we finished talking, I felt God prompted me to bless her with one simple, little phrase. ‘Peace on your home’, I said to her—and immediately saw how moved she was.

Since then, each time I see her leading worship or notice her chatting to someone after church, I repeat quietly in my heart, ‘Peace on your home—peace on your home.’ What a joy to be able to ask God to do this for her and her little family!

Recently too, I was reminded of the lovely, gentle words of farewell my dear mentor and ‘soul friend’ Joy used to say to me when I had finished pouring out all my troubles and questions during my visits to her, especially during my years at theological college. Sometimes, it would just be a simple sentence like, ‘Go gently, dear friend, in God’s love.’ Sometimes, merely a short phrase like ‘God’s peace to you’. Or sometimes, she would quote a line from a favourite poet to me or perhaps the well-known words of Julian of Norwich, written way back in the fourteenth century:

All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.

Through this quote, I knew Joy was encouraging me to keep on trusting God, in the midst of all the busyness and stresses of life. Whether things turned out the way I expected them to or not, God was still there, holding me close, and always would be. Therefore, I could be at peace.

These instances of giving and receiving words of peace resurfaced for me while writing another chapter of my work-in-progress, warming my heart and encouraging me to continue. But this past week, I have been encouraged even further, as I have explored the countless references in Scripture to God’s peace —that peace God longs to give us, both on a personal and corporate level. What a privilege to reflect on such verses as those below and breathe in God’s deep comfort and peace in the process!

And as you read them now, may the Lord bless you so much and speak deep peace into your heart too.

“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 6:24-26

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

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One recent rainy afternoon, we pulled up in the courtyard of a gracious, old B & B where we had booked to stay. The owner, a well-dressed, older lady, greeted us warmly and proceeded to give us a guided tour of the property. We chatted pleasantly and she then began telling us about another couple who had come to stay. Because they had booked late via an online site, she did not know they were coming, so had gone out for the day. As soon as she arrived home, however, the wife of this couple accosted her.

‘We’ve been waiting for you for five minutes!’ this lady said in an angry voice. ‘This is no way to run a business!’

According to our host, it then went downhill from there. The angry guest continued to fume and criticise, until our host had had enough and told them she did not want them to stay.

‘But I’ve paid!’ the angry lady objected.

‘Oh no you haven’t!’ our host told her firmly. ‘I have not authorised the site where you booked to accept any of my payments—my guests pay when they arrive here. This is my home and I don’t need to let your anger in here. Goodbye!’

With that, she closed the door in their face!

I immediately had visions of this couple trying vainly to find somewhere else to stay for the night, with no success. Yet I suppose our host had every right to deny them entry. Why should she let such an angry spirit affect the calm, peaceful environment she had created in her beautiful B & B?

At that point, I decided I needed to reassure her we at least were not angry guests.

‘Well, we certainly come here with joy and not anger,’ I told her. ‘And I hope we bring peace as well.’

I would have liked to say more, but our conversation ended there, as the owner had to go. However, as I relaxed in our lovely accommodation, this whole story kept buzzing in my mind. And soon I found myself wondering what kind of baggage I take into any place I enter. As a child of God, I have God’s Spirit in me, so hopefully I would carry something at least of the love and grace of God with me wherever I go, in some sort of tangible way. Hopefully too, at least some of those fruits of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control—would also be evident in the words I say and the way I treat others. Yet… surely there have been many times when I have entered someone’s home or business with anger… or judgment… or plain old grumpiness in my heart?

It’s a sobering thought that we have been entrusted with carrying God’s peace and light into the places we go, isn’t it? We can choose to open our hearts and joyfully do this—or we can decide to close them and, in the process, only add to others’ burdens. We can bless—or we can curse. The choice is ours.

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26

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