Song Lists

The Blessing Devotional

I remember when the worship team first introduced the new song The Blessing. It was one of the last in-person weekend services before the first wave of COVID hit our area. As these powerful words reached our hearts, the Spirit moved profoundly through our auditorium. One by one, people stepped to the front of the church, hands raised, hearts opened to receive the gift in the blessing. The echo of this melody prepared our hearts for what was coming. We didn't know how much we needed to hear this. The timely reminder that His presence surrounds us; how He hems us in both behind and beside.  While our world waged war with the invisible threat, The Blessing reminded us that through every hour of every day, our Father's face turns towards us. In the morning, in the eveningIn your coming, and your goingIn your weeping, and rejoicingHe is for you Thinking back how we basked in the radiance of His presence on that Sunday, I wonder if those sweet moments of tenderness mattered when the road became rocky? When we faced social distancing precautions as the unknown divided households, communities and countries. Facing disappointment, heartache, and fear did we lean towards hope in the promises of God? Were we comforted by the faithfulness of our Father who is for us? Or did our doubt and frustration spill out everywhere over everyone? Our God Is For Us When your kids can't graduate with their classmates, and your daughter cries herself to sleep. When your school moves to online classes and you fail pre-calculus because online learning is hard. When you have to homeschool your kids, yet don't know what the heck you are doing. When Zoom meetings give you headaches, and your office shuts down, leaving you without a paycheque. When the venue cancels your wedding, and your dreams go up in flames. When you don't meet for the holidays with your family, but notice your neighbours not following the public orders or precautions. With all the information and opinions online, you hardly sleep at night worrying about what to believe. During all that sadness, confusion and heartache, do you believe: He is for us? Our God Transforms Your Mourning In early 2020, collective grief and suffering fractured and divided our families, cities, and countries. We lost loved ones. We faced loneliness, disappointment, and restriction in our movements. Displaced from our pews and meeting centers, we faced sickness, death, and the disorderly conduct of family, friends, and associates who aligned on one side or another regarding precautions, advisory notices, and public orders. We may have watched our frustration rise and fall, and seen the way fear ran through social media posts. We moved to smaller spaces and fewer faces, but the blessing of our God never diminished.   In the months that have passed, have we boasted in the hope of the glory of God? Did we glory in our sufferings? Did we share the hope of our Father's love...a love poured out for us? Or did we only mourn?  Please hear this ... mourning is healing. Rationalizing away hurt and disappointment is one of the great ruptures found in church communities. A belief that if we feel pain, we do not have faith. We don't have to invalidate the pain, to receive the blessing. We are not without faith if we acknowledge the losses around us. We are not without faith if we feel disappointed about the changes and adjustments our families have made in response to this global pandemic. But, we don't have to stay immobilized by pain either.  Our God Meets Us In The Middle Of The Mess What will you remember? Standing here in the middle space between The Blessing and our mourning of what is lost, will you remember the precious moments of singing about the radiance of His face turning towards you? Will you remember that He is for your children and your children's children? Will you remember that He turns our mourning to dancing? Will you take the brave and courageous steps to let your neighbors, work associates, and family know that they do not have to walk this journey without help? Peace in the midst of our disappointment and sorrow is possible -- not because we avoid or minimize the pain, but because we find peace in His presence. Hear this good word? The brilliance of the blessing is in the abundant, faithful love of the Father. Our Father in heaven turns His gaze towards us. Our circumstances do not change the blessing offered to us. When your circumstances blurry and muddy His plans and purposes and you are weary, He is for you. He is with you while you wander in the wilderness in the same way He is for you when you praise Him on the mountaintop. When you fall on your knees, head bowed in grief…He is for you. When you reach your arms to the heavens in gratitude, He is for you. Our circumstances do not change the heart of the Father…He is now and forever will be your more than enough. Our circumstances change, our God does not. Let this truth matter…take it in.  Our God Has Not Moved Entering into 2021, this promise in The Blessing still rings true. We need to hear words of a faithful God who moves towards us, not just in time of need, but because it is in His nature to be with us. We need to know that the Lord will go before us and hem us in as we move through the sometimes unbearable losses. Being in His presence is how we manage disappointment and regulate fear and anxiety. He is with us…the Prince of Peace is with us. Even when the world around us feels uncertain, we can experience peace in His presence. Spending time in peace, slowing down, and taking in that you are not alone with this…might be the shift you need to keep pressing through one more day. He pours His love into our hearts. Let it flow out of you towards the people in your sphere of influence. Our world changed in 2020. We may meet in different places, in smaller spaces, or over Zoom screens, but our God has not moved, nor is he limited. The world needs to know the blessing of our Father is for them. We can bring the hope and peace of His presence into the hurting places in our world. Where your influence extends, reach out with grace, mercy, and hope. Let the peace of God move through you and out into the world around you. Undoing aloneness is a powerful gift.   Tracey Dahl, M.A. is a writer and Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) at Shoreline Counselling in Langley, BC (Canada). She is married to Ryan Dahl (Founder of PraiseCharts) and the mother of four grown children. The Blessing, performed by Kari Jobe, Cody Carnes, and Elevation Worship was written by Chris Brown, Cody Carnes, Kari Jobe, and Steven Furtick. It won the GMA Dove Award for Worship Song of the Year. The Blessing has been produced by various artists and languages all over the world. 

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