I first heard the song “The Blessing” at a women’s retreat a few years ago. At first, I did not like it! The lyrics include “May His favor be upon you for a thousand generations, and your family, and your children and their children…” As a woman who so desperately wanted to be a mom but was not, it left a bitter taste in my mouth. It was already hard enough to be a childless person in my faith community. This song, which was gaining so much popularity in contemporary Christian music, was like adding insult to injury.
Fast-forward a few years, and this is a song that I have used regularly as a worship leader. Even though I have been blessed with a beautiful daughter, the song still stings a little. The memory of childlessness is not long past, plus I know the song may cause the same pain I experienced to others in my church family. So why do I sing it?
Well, for one thing, it uses Biblical imagery, and I think it is accurate to broaden the scope to understand the word “children” as more than just biological children. This includes nieces, nephews, students, and children in our church families. I also like that “The Blessing” is a song that is a giving song. As we sing it as a church family we sing it to one another. Many songs are prayers or declarations of praise, but this is a song intended to bless, encourage, and love those sitting around us. Most importantly, the more I learned the song, I realized that the text leads to an important truth as its climax point: “In the morning, in the evening, in your coming and your going, in your weeping and rejoicing, He is for you.” Then the song goes on to say “He is for you” many, many times!
There can be such heartache related to families. Singleness. Infertility. Painful and unwanted divorces. Estrangement. In our weeping, God is for us. The pain of infertility was more than I thought I could bear at times. But, Jesus Christ bore much more pain and endured even greater heartache. And He did it for me and you. Jesus understands the sorrow and he is always right there with open arms.
Please receive this blessing for your day: “The Lord bless you and keep you, make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”
On a side note, please know that you have been a blessing to me! Thank you for so warmly welcoming me into the family at Peace! It has been a joy getting to know people and making music together for the glory of God.
Jill Schroeder-Dorn, Director of Worship Arts