I received some good advice via a devotional the other day. It asked me if I had been a giver for so long that I had forgotten how to receive. I needed that reminder. I get caught up at times in doing for others. I actually enjoy helping and doing and supporting. I suppose that is how special needs parents are wired. It’s written into the job description. It’s the side dish that comes with that great big heaping portion of parenting. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a role I love. I’m just keeping it real. It’s hard to keep up with everything else in life. It’s easy for days to turn into a list of, “I should have… I need to… I wish there was time for…”
My son comes by his love of animals naturally. When I was growing up there was a lake across the street from my house. As a child I spent countless hours there feeding the ducks. I loved tossing out whole slices of bread, setting off a feeding frenzy with ducks devouring in seconds with hungry bills, which eagerly turned my direction for more. So more I gave, to my delight and theirs. More and more and more, until there was nothing left.
There are days when I feel like that slice of bread. Gobbled up and not enough. Not nearly enough.
That’s the time to remind myself about the receiving. I’m a lousy receiver. I don’t like asking for help. I once spent over an hour in a library looking a children’s book to use for a children’s sermon illustration. The librarian was right there. She even asked if I needed help. My answer? “No, but thanks for offering.”
Do you catch yourself doing that? Turning down help that is freely offered, even when you need it?
It’s okay to be a receiver. It is not a sign a weakness. It’s a gift to the givers in the world who need someone to receive their gift. By not being willing to receive, I take away someone else’s blessing, as well as my own.
In the Gospel of John, the resurrected Jesus appeared to the disciples.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:21-22 NRSV)
How wise of them not to say, “No, but thanks for offering.”
by Torsten Bolten