Tuesday, November 09, 2010

on the receiving end

and I'm not sure i'll ever get used to it, this side of heaven.

These last three months have been one big gift, and it honestly feels like i've constantly been on the receiving end... and stuck somewhat permanently!?

Despite my wrestle with this, and my efforts, i have been able to do little else than sit in my place in life, and simply receive.

And let me tell you, i've tried my darndest to switch sides.

If you had a month to read this blog post i would list for you ALL the ways i have been "given to" during my time here in Canada...but you don't. So let me just briefly give you the synopsis of my last 48 hours, a small representative sample if you will, from the last 103 days of my life.

in the last two days i received the gift of...

the corporate prayer of my church community
a surprise reunion/visit with a dear camp friend of days past
many hugs and deliberate, heartfelt goodbyes
a 1/4 chicken dinner on (and with) my dearest Dad
the promised prayers of a precious friend who gets this Kingdom thing
an impromptu chat of courage and wisdom under a street light with another one
an invitation to dinner from loving supporters
a personal and generous cash gift for any need, from dear family friends
lunch out, courtesy (and company) of a sweet little sister
a discount price on a new pair of sandals, compliments of a surrogate father
time to sing and drive alone, two things i love to do in the rain (and with a full gas tank)...

yes. SO blessed.
but i have to tell you, i am convinced that this receiving thing is not getting any easier as time goes on. and i kind of wish it would.

it's so much more comfortable to give than to receive.
so much easier on my pride.

and i'm convinced that that's exactly why i continue to find myself in this place.
over and over and over again God has poured out kindnesses to me during these last 3 months, and i SO wish i could "out-grace" Him, and give back....very obviously my problem.

to drive home His point, the LORD even had a sense of humor about teaching me this lesson. the TWO Sundays that i managed to #1, BE at my home church, and #2, have my head together enough to ready my offering in my pocket... God GAVE ME BACK my offering through a dear lady in our church community, completely unbeknownst to her, who discretely handed me a small white envelope (containing the exact amount i had just given!) with a smile.

so not just once. this happened twice.

ok. i'm getting the point. though i know i am far from learning this lesson.

and yes, my problem runs deep in my human veins, its in my heart.

LORD you are a Giver. And i am beginning to understand just how resistant my heart is to the gift of your unmerited favor and forgiveness, your mercy and your grace.

Please keep making me humble
and thankful
and ever mindful that i am
and will be eternally ...

on the receiving end.


Christiane said...


Love you... and have decided that you must have been referring to another little sister :P

Scott, Dee, Emily and Owen Kohler said...

Well put, Jay. And my visit with you this summer was one of God's gracious gifts to me. Love you, and let's write when you get "home" to Ecuador.