Esau said to his father, ‘Have you only one blessing, father? Bless me, me also, father!’ And Esau lifted up his voice and wept. (Gen. 27:38)
Today’s scripture is one of the saddest in the bible. Esau has just figured out that his brother Jacob has tricked their father and swindled the blessing that should have gone to him. Esau goes to his father and begs for his own blessing, and Jacob tells him that he has no more blessings to give.
The most important thing parents need to give to their children is to love them. The second most important thing is to bless them. Bless them not because of something they have done, not for their grades or accomplishments, not because they make the parents look good, but bless them because they’re alive and in the world.
When my children were growing up, I often took them to school. As we turned into the school’s driveway, I always said this prayer over them: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” (Num. 6:24-26).
It wasn’t until they were no longer at home that I learned that this prayer really mattered to them. During college and afterward, there have been many occasions when my daughter or son has asked me to say “the prayer” over them.
Even though I know that I made many mistakes with my kids, I believe that both of them felt like I had blessed them with love and support. I imagine that saying “the prayer” over them day after day for years helped them to feel blessed by God and by their Dad.
Today I encourage you to bless those closest to you every day. If you think that “the prayer” could be helpful, I invite you to use it. I can’t tell you how it filled my heart when one of my kids asked for it.
Unlike Esau, who felt like he had missed out on the blessing from his father, we can trust that the blessings from our Father are without end.
- Who has blessed you in your life? What did their blessings mean? Who blesses you now?
- Do you consciously and deliberately bless those you love? If not, is now a good time to begin? Do you have any idea how much a blessing from you would mean to them?
- How has God blessed you? Is there any good thing you have that isn’t a blessing from God? How do you share the blessings you’ve received from God with others?