Published October 3, 2017
This past Friday, September 29th, was an exceptionally exciting day for Shelia and me, and, of course, the rest of our family. Our son Andrew and his wife, Meredith, had their first child a beautiful little girl to whom they gave the name Tahlia Lynn Heil.
And that, of course, means Shelia and I became grandparents for the first time. We hurried home from the National Quartet Convention (572 miles) on Friday, and by evening we each had a chance to hold little Tahlia in our arms when she was only about eight hours old.
The derivation of the name "Tahlia" is interesting and appropriate. It's derived from a Hebrew term meaning "dew from God." ("Tal" in Hebrew refers to "dew."1 The "-lia" ending is sometimes given as "yah," which is from "Yahweh," the name of God, the same sound as in "hallelujah," which means "praise God.")
Why is the name Tahlia so appropriate? Because in the Old Testament, "dew" is quite often thought of as a symbol of God's blessing. In fact, the "dew" is significant because, we are told, it was the way God watered the earth before Noah's flood, which, many scholars believe, was the first time actual rain fell on the earth. Even today, many arid parts of the Middle East depend almost entirely on dew to water vegetation, thereby providing food for animal life and, indeed, people.
The dew is seen as evidence of God's blessing (Proverbs 3:20, Deut. 33:13) and of the Lord's favor (Proverbs 19:12). In fact, since the time of the Passover, Jewish people have been praying the "Tfilat Tal," which is a prayer for dew, asking God to draw Israel to Himself as a root finds water from dew.2 In fact, "dew" appears almost three dozen times in the Bible, often rendered as "dew from heaven." That's because, again, the dew is primarily seen as a blessing from God.
One of the Bible's best-known blessings is in Genesis 27:28 when Isaac blesses Jacob. Although the blessing spans four verses, it begins with these words: "May God give you the dew of heaven..." It was "top-of-mind" for Isaac when he gave Jacob his blessing. Dew is refreshing, energizing, life-sustaining.
Yes, usually God provides moisture as rain, but sometimes rain can be destructive if it's too heavy or too much. But dew just shows up, gently appearing each morning to provide life-sustaining moisture to crops.
This is the blessing of God, given by Him because "His compassions fail not. They are new [like the dew] every morning."3 And, because of this we can echo the recurring words of Scripture, "Great is Thy faithfulness."
Look around you. What are the blessings God is providing for you today? What are those blessings that appear silently but reliably, just like the dew? How is God offering refreshment to you, just as the dew refreshes the land? And do we fail to recognize such blessings for what they are? (Be sure to thank the "blesser" God.)
Or perhaps God is encouraging you personally to be the "dew" for those around you encouraging them, refreshing them, especially in the things of the Lord. There's no feeling quite like the feeling of allowing God to work through you to bless others.
Little Tahlia, you are surely a blessing to all those around you evidence of God's blessing to all of us who already wholeheartedly, unconditionally love you. You are a blessing to your parents and grandparents, who have prayed earnestly for you since long before you were even conceived, long before they knew you or could hold you and gaze into your beautiful blue eyes. You are a blessing to extended family and to other friends who also have been praying for you regularly since they heard you were on the way. And God, Who was the first to know you, has been faithful to answer those prayers.
Tahlia, may the Lord provide the "dew" of His blessing upon you abundantly with continued health, strength and a long, happy and fulfilling life and, especially, a loving heart for Him. And may you grow to experience the "dew" of God's blessing and to share it lovingly with many others.
Welcome, Tahlia, to His world. For now, it's your world, too. Be blessed as you have already blessed us.
- Grandpa Paul
1. Strong's Hebrew #2919.
3. Lamentations 3:22-23, excerpts.
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