Learning to Receive

I struggle to receive. Try giving me some deep encouragement, and I will avert my eyes, nervously laugh, slowly nod, and say, “Sigh… thanks.” You can make a running joke about how I respond every time people try to declare words of truth and encouragement over my life.

I think it’s similar to when a child is clearly struggling to open his bag of chips because his hands are so so grimy, but when you offer assistance, he stubbornly shoves you away, saying “No, I don’t need your help!” It’s clear that the child will never be able to open that bag; he will eventually need to acknowledge his inability (if he really wants those chips).

Likewise, I long to see God provide in my life and fill my inner-man, yet every time He does (either directly or through others), I always doubt, or let it bounce off as if someday I’ll eventually be mature enough or worthy enough to receive with confidence. Rather than letting God’s words and gifts fill me, I stubbornly refuse, thinking I can be satisfied and full of joy without His help.

Not Afraid to be Needy

But the truth is, I’m His needy child, who constantly wants her Father to lavish His love upon her—even when I don’t deserve it. I can pretend to not want my bag of chips or to be strong enough to not need Him, but at the end of the day, I will come back crying to the Father to open the bag of chips that I desperately want.

Christ has died on the cross so that we can freely receive without the condition of perfection, but the Enemy prowls and lives to steal the abundant life that has been promised and already bestowed onto God’s children (John 10:10). The free gift has been given, it is just a matter of our reception.

Receiving Begins with Asking

This is true with all of God’s promises. He promises to be our defender, healer, good Father, faithful leader—but the manifestation of that truth hinges on our asking. He longs to be everything for us, but oh if we would have the humility and trust to persistently call upon the Lord; then we will receive (Luke 11:8-9).