Lucky or Blessed?

by Dr. Mel Tavares

The Lord bless and keep you, the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you, the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.  Numbers 6:24-26 NIV

Have you ever heard someone say, “You’re so lucky,” or “I wish I had more luck”? Each time I hear it, I make in an opportunity to share the difference between being lucky and being blessed.

Luck describes a coincidental circumstance, while blessings are from the Lord who does everything with intentionality and with purpose. If I find a really great sale on chicken this week, is it merely luck or would you consider that it’s a blessing from God? I would consider it the latter. Philippians 4:19 tells me God will supply all my needs.  If I am in need of affordable chicken and I am able to find an unexpected sale, to me that is definitely the Lord blessing me.

Non-believers may view me as being lucky finding the deal on chicken that day, but as a believer I am confident that luck has little to do with all of the blessings bestowed upon me. Sometimes the blessings come as an answer to prayers for God to stretch my food budget in the midst of hyperinflation and at other times, He just drops something unexpected into my lap. James tells us that “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” 

What then do we make of the Irish celebrations we love at this time of the year? The ‘luck of the Irish’ is a tip of the tongue saying around St. Patrick’s Day. Are the Irish lucky? According to E.T. O’Donnell, professor of History at Holy Cross College, the phrase stems from the Irish-American mining community during the gold rush years in the United States. As the Irish-American miners succeeded in their finds more than others, the phrase ‘Luck of the Irish’ was tossed about. The truth is many of these miners loved the Lord and I believe He was blessing them.

My church hosts mission’s fundraisers periodically throughout the year, featuring hundreds of items being raffled off. A particular friend of mine gets his ticket drawn multiple times over at every event. People audibly groan after his name is called for the seventh time and the muttering begins.

“He’s so lucky.” “He always wins.” “I’m never that lucky.”  Once again, I will exchange the word luck for blessed. From my vantage point, he is blessed by the Lord in this manner because he is a giver. He gives his time, talent, the use of his truck and so much more that few know about. God repays him by blessing him in this manner, I believe, because my friend really enjoys winning these oddities. Do you know what he does with his winnings? Yes, he gives them away to people!

In the Hebrew, the word used for the English word ‘bless’ is barakh. It isn’t a casual word, but actually has deep meaning. It was a part of the Aaronic blessing that God spoke to Moses, who taught it to Aaron.  God loves us and wants to pour goodness and peace upon our lives and in our hearts.

Not only does the Aaronic blessing say ‘The Lord bless (barakh) you’ but also ‘keep you.’ The Hebrew word is shamar, which means to guard and protect. We all need guarding and protecting in our society today. There’s no luck involved. If a drunk driver narrowly misses hitting your car, you are not lucky. You are blessed and kept. Shamar, guarded and protected, not ‘lucky.’

The next time you hear someone say “She is so lucky”, I pray you will remember to exchange the word in your mind for barakh and sharmar, blessed and kept!

Lord, thank you for extending goodness to me, for guarding and protecting me, for keeping me, and causing your face to shine upon me. Thank you for the peace you give. I pray for your continued blessings to be poured out on me daily.

This article brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Mel Tavares is an accomplished writer and speaker/teacher, both in ministry and in her career. She is passionate about encouraging and teaching writers. Her target market is women who are hurting and in need of Biblical hope. In addition to ghost writing and authoring her own books, Mel is a contributing author to several books, including the recently released DaySpring “Sweet Tea for the Soul: Comfort for Grieving Hearts.”  She writes for several online Christian communities, teaches classes online, conducts Facebook Live series, and is a podcast guest as opportunities arise. She is a wife, mom to seven, and grandma to ten.

Join the conversation. What obvious blessings from God have you recognized lately?

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