I have lived alone for much of my adult life. I’ve become quite equipped at doing things well on my own. And remarkably well at carrying all the grocery bags in at one time, while opening the storm door with my pinky finger, pushing it open with my foot and holding it open with my hip, so I can put the key in the door and at times, even turn the door handle with my chin. You really should see this. It makes contortionists look like amateurs.
I one time had a friend with me. I grabbed all my bags and headed for the door. He offered his help all the way and over and over again I declared, “It’s okay I’ve got this.” Finally while I was performing my storm door, house door opening act, he said, “You have got to let me help you!” I handed my keys over to him, he opened the door, and took all of the bags from me. From that time on, whenever I was around him, he would not let me carry a thing. He told me I needed to learn to receive!
It was in receiving from my friend, that my independence was first challenged . Independence seems to be an idol in America these days and yet when I am fully independent I loose my ability to receive and being able to receive is crucial when it comes to following Jesus. Mary modeled first as she received him to give birth to life. John speaks of receiving Jesus in John 1 “to all who receive those who believe in his name, he gives you the right to be called children of God.” Receiving is not a popular notion, for to receive is to lay down independence and I can do it all myself attitudes and actions, to recognize I can not do it all, and I have great need that I can not fulfill on my own. Not a poplar notion. The ability to receive, is at the heart of relationship with Jesus.
Today’s practice is: Receiving
Sit in silence with Jesus. Breathe in deep while saying or thinking the name of Jesus and breathe out I receive your love for me. Do this several times. As you breathe in the name of Jesus feel the air fill you and your lungs receive each breath.
Reflect on where you do things for Jesus. Where is there performance? Where are you independent because you know you need to act a particular way for him? Where do you feel as though you are earning love from him, rather than receiving his love for you?
Throughout your day, breathe deep in Jesus and breathe out I receive you love for me. Keep him as the source of life you receive as you breathe. The source of life you receive in receiving Jesus himself in your life. The source of authority as you receive your king. The source of hope as you receive his love for you. Jesus is the giver of all good things, where does independence or distorted performance mentalities take up room that you thus are unable to receive Jesus.
Listen to this song as you reflect: Come into my heart Lord Jesus/Fairest Lord Jesus
Pray: Father you are good. Father you are lovely. Father you are good. Thank you for Jesus. I pray that your Spirit would reveal to me where I have not allowed Jesus to enter my life, where independence has kept me from receiving Jesus and his love for me. Father, in the Spirit, turn me around to look at Jesus once again. Keep my hands open to receive all that Jesus has for me and may all I receive fill me and pour into the lives of those around me. Amen.