In honour of all the fathers and grandfathers out there . . . on Father's Day 2018. You are more of a blessing than you know . . .
You are asleep. The blinds are drawn and the room is dark in spite of the arrival of dawn outside. Suddenly, you are shaken awake . . . not roughly, but with some urgency. There is excitement in the Holy Spirit’s voice,
“Come quickly! It’s your blessing day”
“What’s going on?”
“Your father has chosen today. He is going to bless one of his children today and that child will be you!”
“But . . .”
“But nothing. Get dressed quickly. We need to work fast!”
In minutes, you are through the shower and dressed and you find the Holy Spirit in the kitchen. The shower has left your hair wet and your mind clear.
“I’m not sure what you are thinking. Father loves Jesus. He’s the eldest and he gets all the blessings.”
“Not today. Jesus left early this morning. He won’t be back for ages. He went hunting so he could prepare a meal for your father. We just need to be quick . . .”
“This doesn’t sound like a good idea . . .”
“Listen. We don’t have time for this. Go quickly and find the best goat you have in your flock. Skin it and bring me the meat as fast as you can. Hurry!”
You run down the path to the barn, worrying where this will all lead.
“Curly or Puddles? Which would taste better? Oh, of course. It has to be Bessy. She is a little younger and so her meat will be tenderer.”
You snatch Bessy from the flock and return back towards the house in urgent haste. You find the Holy Spirit in the kitchen and he has made it a hive of activity. There are chopped vegetables on the bench and a sauce simmering on the gas cooktop. Spice bottles and boxes of herbs are scattered all around. He is hard at work blending them in a mortar and pestle.
“Ahh. You’re back. Good! Do you have the goat meat?”
“Yes. I kept it on the bone.”
“Good. Now listen.”
You look up in apprehension and he takes you by the shoulders.
“Trust me, child. I know what I’m doing and believe me, this is the only way for you to be blessed. It has been in my heart for years but now we have the opportunity. Now we have to get you in costume.”
“Yes, the Father has to believe you are Jesus . . .”
“But I can’t. That is impossible. There is no possible way the Father would think I am Jesus.”
“Difficult but not impossible, child. And we are well on our way.”
“Child, it doesn’t matter how you look but it matters a great deal how you feel and smell. Your father does not look on the outward appearance. He is blind to that. So tie that goatskin on your arms and legs and go run into the forest and roll around in the muck and foliage until you smell like Jesus.”
Twenty minutes you are back in the kitchen, panting and sweating. Your mind is a mess of fear and confusion.
“Just wonderful. Let me feel your arms.”
The Holy Spirit reaches out and sighs with satisfaction. He bends down and inhales deeply through his nose. Another sign and a cheeky grin, that is frightening under the circumstances.
The oven dings loudly and the Holy Spirit turns and pulls a dish from within it with an oven mitt on his right hand. He lays it on a board on the bench continuing to speak as he prepares the plate of food.
“This is your destiny, my child. It is how it’s meant to be. The only thing between your future and you is a simple act of courage. You are in costume, just stay in character. You have put on Christ but you need to take on his identity entirely if this is going to work! I know your father’s tastes like no other. He will enjoy this dish. This is going to be great. What’s more, look at you! You are ready. Everything is ready. Go take this dish to your father.”
You obey; shaking a little, you make your way down the hallway and knock on the door. The knock seems louder than usual. After all, what would Jesus do, right?
“Come in, child. I am ready for that meal.”
You step forward with the bowl outstretched as though something between you and your Dad might be a good idea.
“Here I am. Who are you, my son?”
“I am Jesus your firstborn."
You really said that. You never thought that invoking the name of Jesus would come to this. You have come so far with the charade that who you are seems uncertain even to yourself.
“I have done as you told me; now sit up and eat my game, and bless me.”
“Ahh. That smells good, but you sure were quick. I would have thought you would take a few more hours.”
“Sure, but God helped me. He made it much easier.”
He turns his head to the side as if perplexed by something confusing and you begin thinking that the open door looks very inviting now.
“Come close; let me feel your arms. I want to make sure you are really Jesus.”
He reaches out and his fingers stroke the goatskin.
“It’s really quite strange. You have the arms of Jesus but your voice is that of another. Are you really Jesus?”
You father sighs contentedly, his apprehension gone. He places his hand on your shoulder and begins to bless you . . .
“See, the smell of my child is as the smell of a fertile and blessed field! May you have the dew of heaven and of the fullness of the earth and plenty of grain and wine. Let others serve you, and nations bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers and sisters. May they bow down to you as well. Cursed be everyone who curses you, and blessed be everyone who blesses you!”
As he speaks, you look up into his wrinkled face and there is so much affection written there. His love reaches out to you, as it never has before. This is how Jesus must feel all the time, you think to yourself. All the kindness in his unseeing eyes and the words declared over you have gotten under your skin. You feel your emotions rising . . .
“That is all I have to give. You have it all, beloved child. Now, how about some of that stew?”
The bowl has grown heavy during the long wait and you gladly hand it over, your pulse racing as you watch him eat.
It’s done! The Holy Spirit was right. It was not impossible. Wow!
However, elation shatters as a realisation of the consequences of your actions sweeps over your mind.
“What about Jesus? This is some kind of terminal blasphemy! I’m as good as dead.”
You thank your father and leave hurriedly, and you run, fast and hard. Your legs burn and your lungs cry out in pain - terror drives you on, until the darkness of the night swallows the path until you can go no further.
Emotionally and physically exhausted you fall to the ground. You could sleep anywhere tonight and that is helpful because where you lie is the only choice you have. Even a rock for a pillow seems strangely inviting. Sleep takes you quickly and for hours are deeply in its embrace, and then . . .
You awake with a start. It is the middle of the night but things are bright and you seem surrounded by unfamiliar noises. Looking around, you gasp aloud!
Angels – a lot of angels, in fact. They are walking up and down a translucent staircase just meters away from where you have been sleeping. It winds up and up as if it goes all the way to heaven.
It does not occur to you that this is about you and what you have done this very day. You think that you have stumbled on an especially sacred place, but they are not here because of a place. They are here for you. They have come with the blessings that your father just hours before has spoken over you and released into your life.
The angels are ascending and descending on a person and that person is you! It’s your blessing day and they are delivering a whole different kind of life to you!. Favour will follow you now. There will be no lack. No one will be able to stand against you anymore. The angels are setting all of that in place around you.
Slowly it dawns on you. The kingdom of God has come and his will is being released all around you. You have become an epicentre of that kingdom on earth. You carry a mantle of blessing and all those close to you, and those who come and go in your life, will feel its touch.
It has been a great day. Congratulations, it is your blessing day today.
This story is one of my favourites, a wonderful instruction manual on how to receive from the Father. One thing it portrays so well is the level of hesitation that can be present in our minds as we come to Him - apprehension and fear that we are undeserving. We are well aware that it is Jesus and not ourselves that deserves all the blessings the Father has to offer. Yet we feel the Holy Spirit’s prompting to enter in and take what rightfully belongs his the only beloved son. We feel unworthy. We feel like we don’t deserve anything at all.
Ephesians chapter one sees us seated with Christ in heavenly places so we can be blessed. We are actually in the beloved – Clothed with Christ himself. The mystical reality of us being in Christ perfects the picture of Jacob with his makeshift Esau costume. The feel and savour of Christ all around us overwhelms the senses of the Father. He loves Christ so much and has so much blessing for him that he instinctively and eagerly showers it all on us.
One important limitation of this picture is our relationship with Jesus. Unlike Esau, he is totally for us and not affronted at all by us taking the blessings that rightfully belong to him. He has always been on board with the plan. We cannot do it without his cooperation. In fact, no one comes to the Father except through him!
When we are in Christ, the Father sees no difference between Christ and us. He is not blind in a physically limiting way but we should not underestimate the power of our union with our Saviour. What would it mean if we identified with Christ as much as Jacob identified as Esau? What would it mean for our relationship with the Father if we could meet him on these terms and forget about our identity, history and inadequacies, full embracing our character and role. . .
This is an excerpt from a book we plan to release in early 2019.
- PICTURES OF MY FATHER -
What happens when we chase through scripture in an attempt to uncover every glimpse of Father God to be found there? Sign up to stay in touch and be the first to know when it will be available. In the meantime, look out for a few more tastes of what's inside as it gets closer to publication.