I once had a friend who was gifted at giving. She was immensely creative and would put lots of thought and time into the gifts she gave others. Each year all of the ladies at church hoped she would draw their name for “secret sisters” because they knew fun and imaginative surprises would be coming their way.
There was only one problem: she couldn’t receive gifts well. It seemed when someone tried to do something for her she felt compelled to reciprocate right away, or even almost refuse saying “you don’t have to do that.” Her responses popped the balloon of joy and love of the one trying to do something for her. It was frustrating! She could give but not receive. It almost felt like a one-sided game of catch where someone throws a ball at you over and over but never let’s you throw one back. No fun.
This morning in my quiet time I was reminded that I usually act like my relationship with God is solely my doing or responsibility. I must give and do and be for Him to please Him and show how much I love him by what I do, when He wants to love and give to me, too, and I need to receive. I need to remember that I wouldn’t even have a relationship with Him if He hadn’t invited me and called me to Him. He’s the initiator. He loved me first.
It seems a fine line to walk because the Bible talks about seeking God intentionally but also talks about accepting the gift of grace and an eternal kingdom as willingly and eagerly as a child.
Living in relationship with my heavenly Father is part actively getting to know Him and loving Him, part sitting expectantly at His feet with open hands waiting to gladly receive something good from Him. The depth and quality of our love and closeness doesn’t depend just on me. I’m so thankful for that! Today I’m sitting, smiling, waiting on the receiving end.