Kids just instinctively know how to do it. Whether is a compliment, a treat, or a gift, they readily hold out their heart and their hands and they receive. With a gleeful smile, and hopefully a "thank you", they run along.
How good are you at receiving? When someone says, "You are lookin' good", do you immediately deflect by turning the spotlight back on them? When someone offers you chocolate, do you smile and say, "Yes, please!" or do you carry on an inward dialogue, not wanting to take any prized delight away from them, so you say, "no", while you secretly want it so bad?
I know to you "easy receiver's", this whole line of questioning seems ludacrous. I mean, if you want it, take it, right? But it's not so easy for some of us. I honestly think mom's have the hardest time receiving. We get used to filling our plates last, sharing our last bite with anyone who asks, using our saved new shoe stash for yet another lost retainer or broken glasses, or spending countless late nights helping with college applications for the kids while your own dreams remain on hold.
Yep, I am a "hard receiver". This is a term coined by one of my Bible teachers, and I face this issue every single day. Why is it so flippin' hard to receive? Jesus warned His followers, "Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." Luke 18:17 (NIV)
For some of us who grew up steeped in religion it was ingrained within us to sacrifice, to fast, to contend for the promises of God. Where does receiving like a child fit into that?
Today Bill Johnson explained it like this: There are two main ways to advance the Kingdom. One is to receive like a child, the other is to take it by force. ("From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force." Matthew 11:12 (ESV) He said you can tell which way the Lord is wanting you to approach Him by how He responds to you. If you are fasting and praying and nothing is working, maybe He wants you to simply rest in Him and receive. If resting and waiting isn't bringing breakthrough, maybe in this season, you need to contend for your breakthrough.
I have become pretty good at contending. I have fought for my kids, my family, my church, my city, my friends, my healing, but how often have I just sat back and received? Very rarely, I must admit.
As I was sharing my day with my daughter this evening she looked at me and said, "God just wants to rain down on you, Mom. It's time to take down the umbrella."
Wow. It will take some practice.
How about you? Maybe you should ask God what He is desiring from you in this season. If it's childlike faith, then I cheer you on, and say, hold out your hands, put your umbrella away, and let it rain! May He put HIs love on display just for you!
PS. It's been awhile since I have marked the trail. I have been processing so much, letting God retrain my brain. This blog is just a snapshot of my journey the last couple of weeks. I hope it blesses you. XOXO