In many movies someone beloved of the hero is attacked or kidnapped or stricken with an illness or marred in an accident. The hero fights his way to the side of this loved one and says to him something akin to, “Everything is going to be alright. I promise.”
The stricken one is comforted by the presence of the hero, and the added promise and assurance allows him to close his eyes and rest.
And I cringe. How is it in the power of the hero to make such a promise?
It’s not and everyone knows it. But the wounded one accepts it, and in fact we accept it for him. We do so because at the deepest part of our being we too want that assurance that everything is going to be all right, and we will accept that assurance however tenuously it comes.
Sometimes we look at our hands, our talents, and our training and we say to them, “Bless me!” We ask them to assure us that by hard work and diligent effort we might craft a guaranteed future. We look to these for blessing, but they can’t give it.
Or we turn our eyes upon our land or our resources, our bank accounts or our retirement fund, and we say, “Bless me!” We ask them to assure us that they will always be there to provide all the pleasure and comfort we crave. We ask them for blessing, but they can’t give it.
Sometimes we look to others – to a loved one, a spouse, or our children, and ask them to always be around and stand with us and hold us up. We say to them, “Bless me!” But they can only care for us so far. They can’t do much when our health fails or age overtakes us. We ask them for blessing, but we ask for more than they can give.
We cast our eyes into the future trying desperately to find some measure by which we can assure that everything will be okay. What we want is for a hero to come alongside us who will say, unbidden, “Everything is going to be alright. I promise.”
God knows this. And through Moses and Aaron, he heaps words one upon another to assure us that blessing is what he intends.
“Thus you shall bless the people of Israel…‘The Lord bless you….’…and I will bless them.”Number 6:22-27
I cringe at the movies because the one who says everything is going to be okay has no power or position to insure what he has promised. By contrast, when speaking for God a minister speaks to us,
“The Lord bless you and keep you….”
There is no need to cringe, only to close our eyes and rest.