I love the title of this blog. It makes it sound as though God has read Emily Post and knows which gifts to give for which wedding anniversary. Obviously, however, I’ve got something a little different in mind.
In this chapter, Jacob gives his final blessings to his twelve sons. Much has been written about the blessings, each so different, some surprising. I’m sure there have been umpteen parallel studies done to research how the "blessings" played out in history. For instance, Jacob told Reuben that he would "no longer excel" because of the sin he committed when he slept with his stepmother. Quite literally, the birthright was taken away from him for his actions. And, when we look into the history (future) of the tribe of Reuben, we find that no king, no prophet, and no one of significance to the nation of Israel ever came from Reuben. (Ouch.)
But I want to key in on this verse today: "All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessing appropriate to him." (vs 28)
I see a little bit of God here. I love the statement, "giving each the blessing appropriate to him." God is in the business of relationships. And if there is one thing relationships certainly are not, it’s identical! No two relationships are the same. Relationships don’t come from a cookie cutter. There is no "relationship mold." And it’s the same when it comes to God. He treats us each as individuals, and He knows just what we need at just the right time. He knows just how to bless us with the "blessing appropriate to us." He is a Master Parent.
On one hand, this is pretty cool, right? To know that we have a Heavenly Father who knows us intimately and is able to provide for our every, tailor-made need. On the other hand, we don’t always like this very much, do we? We look at others around us and wonder why we don’t have what they do.
Shortly after my father died, a good friend of mine had a crisis in her life with her father. He was in ICU, and the doctors really couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him. For a long time, it didn’t look very good. We thought he might die. But, miraculously, he survived. God healed his body, and today, he has made a full recovery. At the time, I remember marveling at the place God had brought me to in my life: I thought about how, just a short time before, I might have demanded answers from God. How come you healed her dad, God, but you didn’t heal my dad?
Thankfully, through a series of circumstances in my life (one of which was my father’s illness and death), I have learned the important lesson that God gives "blessings appropriate to us." I know that if it had been the right thing for my dad to have been healed, then he would have been. God always does the right thing. He always does the best thing. He knows just what you need, and He's going to give it to you! Every day. Every time. In every way.