Contributed by David Swensen on Jun 19, 2002 (message contributor)
Summary: The power and importance of family blessings cannot be overestimated. When blessings are not forthcoming children ache for them. Learn more with todays message.
Writing in Chicken Soup for the Soul, Ted Kruger writes: “I have many memories about my father and about growing up with him in our apartment next to the elevated train tracks. For years we listened to the roar of the train as it passed by. Late at night, my father waited alone for the train that took him to a factory where he worked the night shift. On this particular night, I waited with him in the dark to say good-bye. His face was grim; his youngest son had been drafted. I would be sworn in at six the next morning while he was at the factory. My father didn’t want them to take his child, only 19 years old, to fight a war in Europe. He placed his hands on my shoulders and said, ‘You be careful, and if you need anything, write to me and I’ll see that you get it.’ Suddenly he heard the roar of the approaching train. He held me tightly in his arms and gently kissed me on the cheek. With tear-filled eyes, he murmured, ‘I love you, my son.’ Then the train arrived, the doors closed him inside, and he disappeared into the night….and I left for boot camp.
One month later, at age 46, my father died. I am 76 as I sit and write this. I once heard Pete Hamill, the New York reporter, say that memories are man’s greatest inheritance, and I have to agree. I’ve lived through four invasions in World war II. I’ve had a life full of all kinds of experiences. But the only memory that lingers is the night my dad said, ‘I love you, my son.’” Oh, the incredible power of a father’s blessing. Who can fathom the power of a parents’ blessing? A wonderful, empowering inheritance, indeed. Yet it is so easy to fail to pass on this much needed blessing to our children. Our text for this morning concerns itself with a father’s blessing.
“For sons and daughters in biblical times, receiving their father’s blessing was a momentous event. It gave these children a tremendous sense of being highly valued by their parents.” It did wonders for their self-esteem. At a specific point in their lives they would hear words of encouragement, love and acceptance from their parents.” In our text, Isaac was getting set to pass on his blessing to his eldest son Esau. Isaac was getting along in years and he couldn’t see very well. So he called in his son Esau and told him that he could die any day. He requested that Esau go out hunting and bring back his favorite venison. After that Isaac promised to bless his son.
Esau’s brother got wind of his father’s plans and he deceived his father into imparting the blessing to him. While Esau was out hunting, Jacob brought in some meat from their flock of goats and presented it to his father as venison. Because his father’s sight and taste had been affected by his age, Jacob was able to get away with the scheme. Thinking Jacob was Esau, Isaac gave the blessing to Jacob. When Esau returned with the venison he presented it to his father saying, “EAT OF THE MEAT THAT YOUR SOUL MAY BLESS ME.” Surprised by this request, and knowing that he had already given the blessing, the father said, “WHO ARE YOU?” When he found out what had happened, Isaac trembled exceedingly and told Esau that he had been tricked into giving the blessing to his brother. Esau was distraught and cried out to his father saying, “BLESS ME, EVEN ME ALSO….”
“Can you feel the anguish and hurt in the cry, ‘BLESS ME, EVEN ME ALSO?’ This same painful cry and unfulfilled longing is being echoed by many people who are searching for their family’s blessing, men and women whose parents, for whatever reason, have failed to bless them with words of love and acceptance.” Every one longs for and needs the blessing of their parents. We all need to be genuinely loved, valued, accepted and appreciated by our parents. When we give the blessing to those in our homes, we empower them to live much happier and much more fulfilling lives. Nothing does more to strengthen our families and improve the atmosphere of our homes than expressions of love, acceptance and appreciation. Hence, we need to find ways to bless those in our families. Our family members need the blessing from us far more than they need all the material and temporal things that we labor so diligently to provide.
The power and importance of family blessings cannot be overestimated When blessings are not forthcoming children ache and long for them all of their lives. Withheld blessings become an emotional liability and a heavy burden. However, when children have been blessed by their parents they are empowered. They become more secure emotionally and they are able to live their lives in a more fulfilling and satisfying manner. One of the greatest things that we can do for our children and grand-children is to give them our blessing.This is done in a number of ways. Spending quality time together is one of them.