When my kids were little, they loved showing me what they could do. Cannonballing into a pool. Popping a wheelie on a bicycle. A cartwheel. Blowing bubbles. They wanted me to physically turn my face toward them to watch what they were doing. Repeatedly!
This desire for approval is the final journal entry of the priestly blessing in Numbers 6:24-26. We wrap it up with verse 26. May the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
So, what does it mean for God to turn his face toward you? It means that He is truly enjoying his children. But approval seeking has gotten all twisted up. Sometimes that natural inclination to have approval becomes an obsession with pleasing people instead. Which then makes the last phrase in this blessing impossible – “and He will give you peace.”
“People pleasing” is about as far from peaceful as you can get. It is a relentless pursuit to perform and conform. Sometimes, when my kids were so busy watching me, watching them, a very happy moment could turn very ugly – very unpeaceful, with tears and a mad dash for the first aid kit.
Many people search for peace in their lives, but never find it because they are looking in all the wrong places. Some even give up the search, thinking it is impossible to find.
I think God turns His face toward us, not because we’re out doing “attention getting” things for Him. I think He turns his face at the most unexpected times. When He catches His children in the act of living out the Gospel. When we show grace toward a difficult person at work. When we choose to look for the good when hard things surround us. He looks, when we’re not settling for comfort Christianity. Loving the hard to love and denying the very natural and powerfully strong desire to please ourselves. At the end of the day, there is peace in knowing that for a moment, you were Jesus to someone. When you do that, I assure you He is looking.
Today’s Prayer: I am so much like my kids. I want your approval. I want you to be proud of me. And as I’ve studied the three verses in Numbers 6: 24-26, I’ve discovered that you are on the edge of your Mercy Seat ready to serve up heaping baskets of blessing so that I can turn right around and heap it on others. Thank you for reminding me that you are beaming when you turn your face toward your children.