“Oh, that you would bless me, indeed…enlarge my territory,” is part of the powerful prayer Jabez said in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10.
It is a prayer some of us have variously said, without soaking in its deeper meaning. But after last Sunday’s sermon at my church, New Jerusalem Deliverance Centre in Bunamwaya, there is a new saying in the congregation. We now ask God for “omukisa ogwa indeed (the blessing indeed)”.
For clearly, while Jabez’s name was a representation of one “born of sorrow” as the Bible says, the same holy book states that Jabez was more honourable than all his brothers.
Which means, that man was somewhat blessed. The only problem: it was not a full blessing. Or it was not even the blessing God gives.
That is why in his short but rich prayer, he asks for something deeper; a blessing that cannot be exchanged. A blessing that cannot be debated upon or mocked. A blessing that is permanent. A blessing…indeed! And that is the one I am also pursuing.
Some of us, compared to other family members, are considered ‘blessed’, but no one sees the tears that fall when the rest of the world is sleeping.
Others are considered blessed, compared to the community they live in, or the places they work, but when put on God’s scale of blessings, their blessings are not blessings at all.
The Bible says, the blessing of the Lord maketh rich and has no sorrow added unto it. What that means is that there are other types of blessings that don’t come from the Lord. And many times, those so-called blessings come with sorrow, stress and heartbreak.
Some people are rich, but not blessed of the Lord. Some parents are fertile, but not blessed of the Lord. Some businesses are prosperous, but not blessed of the Lord.
Even witches and false prophets dish out counterfeit blessings; before you know it, that so-called blessing has alleviated one problem and introduced another, graver one.
I suspect Jabez already had one of those other types of blessings and he was tired of the evil and grief that came with them, thus his cry to the Lord to bless him indeed.
And that is the blessing I want and wish for you too: Omukisa ogwa ‘indeed’. Nothing less.