The posture of blessing (Five Minute Friday)

I remember the bishop’s hands were warm on my head when he prayed. I was kneeling on the squeaky Anglican prayer cushions, aged thirteen, ready to have my commitment to Christ confirmed. It was not as if it made any difference in the heavenly realms, I had told myself. It was Jesus who saved me, not some ritual or prayer.

But I felt a warmth run right through my body, an electric energy, as he prayed, and I received.

That is the only way to be blessed – kneeling, receiving – not necessarily literally, but figuratively.

This is how we come to God: as children, as needy people, hands open, on our knees. It is not a posture we take very often; we wish to be seen as capable, strong, independent. But it is the only way to receive blessing – to have both hands out in surrender to catch it.

Whenever I get squirrely and anxious about my life and illness, I stop and wonder – have I knelt recently? Has my heart knelt before God recently? It is a hard posture for us to take.

Sometimes God blesses us anyway, because God is good. And it can feel risky to ask for blessing if we have experienced so much disappointment in the past. But everything good in life requires some kind of risk. If we don’t ask, are we aware that we’ve received?

As I lie in bed today, I remember: it is so much richer when I stop, and swallow my pride, and consciously ask, from a position of vulnerabllty and weakness: Lord, would you bless me?

“13 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.” Mark 10:13-16, NIV via Bible Gateway

Over to you: 

  • When did you last feel like you received some kind of blessing from God?
  • How easy do you find it to adopt a posture of blessing?

I’ve been slack on here recently as I’ve been working on the edits to my book on waiting – exploring the journey of four Bible characters as they wrestle with the weight of waiting. But the Five Minute Friday blog linkup gives writers a chance to free-write, like you freewheel a bike. This was my best five minutes on ‘Blessing’. Look out for my Book Reviews May/June – there’s a bumper lot coming! And if you’re new here, be sure to download your free copy of my book, Coming Back to God When You Feel Empty: Whispers of Restoration from the Book of Ruth.


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26 Responses to The posture of blessing (Five Minute Friday)

  1. Stephanie 1st July, 2017 at 7:50 pm #

    This is so timely. A lesson I seem to have to re-learn every few years.

    In some ways illness has broken down my armor. Made me more accepting of my limits and need of God. In other ways I all the more stubbornly cling to what I haven’t lost, to what remains of my self-sufficiency.

    Looking forward to your new book, Tanya. Praying you have the energy and clarity you need as you finish.

    • Tanya 19th August, 2017 at 9:03 pm #

      Thanks, Stephanie, for the prayers for finishing my book – I’m so grateful for them. And I completely relate to what you say about illness both breaking down your armour and making you more defended. It’s that paradox, isn’t it?

  2. Linda Fode 1st July, 2017 at 3:52 pm #

    I remember my confirmation in the little Anglican Church 60 years ago. I love your ‘squeaky cushion’ description. The sense of Presence – of Peace still resonates in my heart.

    May the Living Word continues to pour his words into our hearts as we kneel in His Presence . May we be faithful in pouring them out to a broken world.

    • Tanya 19th August, 2017 at 9:01 pm #

      Oh – amen, amen! What a beautiful prayer. Thank you.

  3. Cathy 1st July, 2017 at 3:29 pm #

    Needed this SO much today! Thank you, as always. Looking forward to “Waiting” (should be my middle name!) Been watching Escape to the Country; makes me think if you…

    • Cathy 1st July, 2017 at 3:30 pm #

      *of you

    • Tanya 19th August, 2017 at 9:00 pm #

      I’m so glad it connected with you when you needed it! and ha! I live in a very green countryside county, but I’m a city girl, and live in the outskirts of a city! (I generally hyperventilate with mild panic whenever we drive through Devon single track country lanes…)

  4. Christina Hubbard 1st July, 2017 at 2:38 pm #

    Hi, Tanya, you pose a great question. The asking does make us more aware of the receiving. I find being aware of blessing is challenging overall but pain has helped me wake up to God’s nearness. I also wanted to say a big thank you to you for sharing your story of illness. It has helped me through some hard times. I discovered your blog last year through Sheridan Voysey’s. Cool that we have a mutual friend and so glad to see you at FMF! I’m in the #53 spot. Cheers!

    • Tanya 19th August, 2017 at 8:58 pm #

      Christina – it’s so lovely to connect with you! I’ve been slow on catching up with comments, so I’m a bit mortified that I wrote on your wall recently as if we didn’t already know each other! sorry. ‘pain has helped me wake up to God’s nearness’ – this is an amazing testimony.

      And I wanna give you a huge high five of solidarity for making it through hard times. Thanks so much for taking the time to get to know my writing- it means a lot xx

      • Christina Hubbard 19th August, 2017 at 10:49 pm #

        Hi, no worries about responding! Thank you for that solidarity. That’s the perfect word. Have a great weekend.

  5. Gina 1st July, 2017 at 2:00 am #

    Love this: That is the only way to be blessed – kneeling, receiving. So true!

    • Tanya 19th August, 2017 at 8:55 pm #

      Thanks so much for coming by, Gina!

  6. Gayl 30th June, 2017 at 10:49 pm #

    Lovely post, Tanya! I think I feel God’s blessing almost every time we take communion in church. Since it is an Anglican church we have the Eucharist every Sunday. Sometimes it isn’t easy to adopt a posture of blessing. If I’m always busy doing and not stopping to actually acknowledge the presence of God, I forget to lift my open hands as a posture to receive what God wants to give me.

    • Tanya 19th August, 2017 at 8:55 pm #

      Lovely Gayl! I love that you connect with God in that special way during Eucharist. And – I totally relate re being busy doing (ironic,i know!)

  7. Lesley 30th June, 2017 at 10:00 pm #

    I love the reminder that we come to God as children, completely dependent on him, and that the blessings we receive are gifts, not something we can work to earn. I agree that we can often feel we have to be strong and capable. It’s good that with God we can come as we are and admit our need and receive what he has to give. Visiting from FMF#31.

    • Tanya 19th August, 2017 at 8:48 pm #

      Hi Lesley – thanks so much for stopping by! I love the name of your blog

  8. Christy 30th June, 2017 at 5:48 pm #

    Hi Tanya! I haven’t seen you at FMF before so welcome if you’re new! If not I beg grace 🙂 I’m behind you this week.

    Great reminder about surrendering. Something I’m struggling with in recent weeks.

    • Tanya 19th August, 2017 at 8:47 pm #

      Hi Christy! I used to do FMF back in the day with Lisa-Jo but have reentered into it only reenrols. Thanks for stopping by! Thinking of you as you contemplate what surrendering looks like for you

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