Recently a light bulb went off over my head when I realized that I’ve been spoiled. A fever of 105 caused by a kidney infection landed me back in the hospital where I spent another 48 hours trying to get well again. I know some of you might be saying, “This woman is seriously sleep deprived if she sees 48 hours in the hospital as being spoiled.” When I say “spoiled” I’m just admitting how much I used to take my health for granted.
Once again, people came out of the woodwork to help with rides, meals and visits. To be perfectly blunt, I realized I’m not a great taker. I’m an exceptional giver, but taking is just not my thing. It sparks feelings of pity and inadequacy in me. When I shared this with Pastor Meyer he gave me a different way to view the issue of receiving. He said (and I’m paraphrasing), “Did it occur to you that you might have to keep learning how to take gracefully, until you have accepted how to take gracefully?” That and (again I’m paraphrasing) “Lori, get over yourself. These people are happy to help.” Golden nuggets from a wise man! I was tempted to have a pity party. He lifted me up with wisdom and faith when I was flirting with the pits of depression. Thanks, Pastor! Clearly I needed a little perspective.
So that’s what I wanted to write about today. I think it’s more than possible, in fact highly probable that we live a literal “Ground Hog Day” (remember the Bill Murray movie where he relives the same day over and over?) until we learn the lesson God has set out before us to learn. God may be using me in a new way to let His love surge through me when I receive. Pastor challenged me to think of receiving as a way to allow others to fulfill their need to give. In some ways without receiving you might be “cheating” them out of their calling to serve you.
Ever heard, “God meets you where you are”? That’s what I experienced.
I LOVE food (the cooking and eating parts, not so much the shopping for it and cleaning up afterwards parts). And on a separate note, I am insane when it comes to taking pictures. Troy will tell you that our children are better photographed than some members of the Royal Family.
While in my hospital bed where I was tasked with “Rest” I swear it was like a divine photo album arrived as I slept. In and out of consciousness, while wrestling with my feelings about being a burden and accepting help, I was reminded of all the food I’ve shared over the years with friends and family that needed a pick me up for one battle wound or another. It was as if I saw snapshots of the moments when I shared kindness that God seemed to log. Left to my own devices, I couldn’t tell you what I wore yesterday, but He reminded me of the chicken saltimbocca I made for my next door neighbor when she lost her mom nearly 10 years ago. I remembered what I cooked for dinner parties we hosted, the banana bread I brought to my dad in the hospital, desserts I brought to coffee hours, and treats I baked for play dates. I remembered “favorite meal” birthday requests my family made and I in turn cooked. I even fondly recalled nursing the children their first meals. So not only had God met me where I was (trying to become a better receiver) but He did it in my currency! It whapped me between the eyes once I got over myself and saw the beautiful poetry in how He communicates with me and how intimately He knows me. He loves me when I give, and if I could just get over myself, I would see He loves me when I receive, too. The joy we experience with bringing someone a homemade edible brings others delight when they do it for us as well.
Hebrews 5:8 says, “Although He was a son, He learned obedience through what He suffered.” My suffering doesn’t qualify as suffering when you compare it to Jesus. Heck, it’s sub par when you think of most of the people we read about in the Bible. But I have learned obedience through my health rollercoaster nevertheless. I lift it up to God and He lifts it off my plate. The day I got married I realized it would never be all about me ever again. But as I stand before you today, I FINALLY get it that it’s indeed all about Him, and I’m SO glad that it is. And by my humble estimation, more often than not, our worries equal our unwillingness to get over ourselves. Join me today in focusing less on myself and more on those around me and most of all join me in trusting Him!