How To Receive a Blessing

This Chatting on the Front Porch post from August 18, 2009 ties in with last week's Iced Tea post where I spoke of learning how to receive a blessing.  You'll note it mentions the same incident I recalled in that post of the man who refused a blessing we wanted to give him...

Do You Know How to Receive?

This past week my husband and I experienced an overflow of God's blessings in our lives. I believe those blessings flowed because of how we received each one: with thankfulness, praise, and happy hearts.  Let me share with you about what I've learned just this week about receiving blessings.

My husband and I were walking on the streets of a lovely little mountain town when we happened upon a shop devoted to a specialty that someone we knew happened to enjoy.  We thought immediately of this person and husband said he wanted to get something for him.  We went into the shop, spoke with the owner and asked for his expertise in choosing a gift.  We bought what the owner said was the best and left the shop feeling happy that we were going to bless our recipient.

When we got home we called this man and asked that he stop by when he was in the neighborhood.  Well as things transpired he was in the neighborhood the next day for unrelated reasons and I ran out to greet him and give him the gift husband had chosen.  Not only would this person not even look at the item, he point blank refused it, saying "I don't want it." 

"But it was chosen especially for you!" 

"I don't want it. I'm not going to take it." 

"Couldn't you take it and bless someone else with it?  I hate for my husband's feelings to be hurt when he chose this especially for you..." 

"I'm not trying to hurt anyone's feelings, but I 'm not going to take it, I don't want it."  And he drove away. 

Now I was hurt, and a little angry, a little embarrassed and a lot put out.  Not only had he refused the gift, he'd never once thanked us for thinking of him!

I remembered another event that took place a few years ago.  This man and I were mutually blessed to receive a property that we'd never dreamed would be ours. Not only did he continually voice his desire to not receive this blessing, he went out of his way to show how little it meant to him by complaining about it, and eventually let the property be sold at a price considerably below current real estate values. 

I am not complaining about the portion I received.  I am deeply grateful for the blessing that was given to me then and now, and my portion enabled my family to experience a dream we'd held dear and it answered fervent prayers.  My only point is that there was a huge difference in how we each received what was given.  For years, I've watched this man, a God loving man, refuse time again the gifts others have offered him or which have come his way.  He's a lot like that old preacher who believed that God only meant him to have bread and water while a feast was laid out upon the table before him.

Now as it happens this past month has been a month of remarkable blessings in our home.  We were given gifts by people who barely know us, gifts that were astounding in their quality and value.  We were given gifts by family members.  We received answers to prayer.  We received gifts from strangers who'd just met us and simply felt compelled to bless us.  Some of the gifts we received were things we needed and some were given because we happened to be in the way of the flow of blessings at the time.  We praised God every single time we received a blessing and what's more we accepted all the gifts offered and prayed that those who blessed us would receive blessings surpassing those we were given.

We happened upon an old International Charismatic Bible Ministries conference on GOD channel the other day.  Lindsay Roberts was speaking about the blessings of God.  She mentioned that she seldom told anyone she'd grown up in a household that knew no want as a child because she didn't want anyone to think she'd had special privileges, even though she had.  When she married into the Roberts family and accepted a role in the family ministry, she'd been careful to give away or hide the material gifts she was given for fear that others would point and gossip. 

At one time in her life she began to feel that she was laboring to keep up with her ministry duties.  Her home life suffered, she was suffering physically, the work she was doing was suffering.  She kept crying out to God asking why things weren't going well.

One day a friend asked Lindsay "Where are your gifts?"  She looked at Lindsey, around at Lindsey's home and saw that many things she knew Lindsey had been given were not on display.  Lindsey told the woman that she'd hidden or given away many of the things.  The friend then asked her "Don't you realize that these things were gifts from God?  He used others to bless you.  Don't you know that being ashamed of these blessings is offensive to God?  He gave to you because he loved you.  Let others see the blessings He's given you and stop being ashamed of them!"  Lindsay said she began to pull out the things she'd hidden and put them on display.  The blessings began to flow into all areas of her life once more.

Now think about this: to whom do you most love to give gifts?  I'm willing to bet it's someone who always appreciates what you give no matter how inexpensive or costly, how small or how big.  I'm willing to bet it's someone who always thanks you for your thoughtfulness and expresses their joy to you.  I'm willing to bet it isn't someone who ridicules your gift, or grumpily takes it and makes it plain that it isn't what he/she was expecting.  I'm willing to bet it isn't the person who refuses the gifts you have to give!  Now think of how God must feel when he has a blessing to bestow.  While you and I might tire of being rebuffed after a time or two, God continues to offer us his blessings anyway.  All we have to do is receive them and say thank you.  That's it.

How do you receive the blessings God wants to give you?

While I was scrolling through posts I also came across this prayer I'd recorded on the same blog in the same week. 

A Prayer about Receiving

For the month of August I've been studying the Holy Spirit using a book by author Catherine Marshall titled, The Helper.  This morning this prayer was at the end of my reading:

Lord Jesus, Sovereign Lord, into whose hands the Father has given all power, I lift up my heart and my life to You.

Lord, so often I must have grieved You with my lack of trust.  Your loving, giving heart has wanted to shower good gifts on me and my family and friends, yet I have been too bound by the sin of not believing even to lift my hands to receive the gifts.

Lord Jesus, forgive me!

I do confess my unbelief as the sin it is.  And I ask You now to forgive me and cleanse me of this black sin.  I thank You that the 'cleansing from all unrighteousness' You have promised includes the gift of Your own implicit trust in the goodness, the mercy, and the present-day power of the Father.

Thank You, Lord.  Amen.


Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

Terri, thank you for such a wonderful loving post. Oh how wonderful that God loves us and sends us these blessings.. And all we have to do is accept. Such a loving God we have.
I am so sorry that the man refused the gift. Broke my heart , just to read it. Know it made you two feel terrible.. And I just know this man , has some kind of trouble on him, that he cant accept that he is loved and the gift was a gift of love. I will add him to my prayer list.
Have a blessed day. Judy

Anonymous said...

I had this happen to me. I did it. I came to know a women and gifted her with a little something that I knew she would like. Later she gifted me with hand made pottery her family made. They seemed to precious to give to someone they did not know well. I felt awful like I was taking someones birth right. On top of that they were big and heavy. Frankly they are nothing I could use. What to do?? Chances are they would never ever be in our home. I could put them away forever in a closet? I checked and no one in the family wanted them either. I kept thinking and wondering if I should even have them again and again. My mother made so many things and gave them away and the family has nothing of hers now. I put myself in their shoes and worried they too would have nothing hand made like this later either. Finally I took them to their house and give them back. I tried to explain why. It did not go well....At All. They did not understand my point and pretty much shut the door in my face. I would never do that again. But still wonder what to do with something so unique as that I really can't use and also something that seemed like heirloom pieces? If seem there would be no denying that they were the ones given to me. Regifting them or donating them seemed out of the question then. In the end there is no denying that I did wrong by returning them. Lesson sadly learned. Sarah

Kathy said...

I hadn't thought of giving and receiving this way...thank you!

Anonymous said...

Terri - Sometimes we do this with compliments. How many times have people complimented us and we are too prideful to acknowledge these beautiful acknowledgements.

beckyathome said...

We have often been the ones on the giving end of things. This past year, we have been on the receiving end a lot. We have learned to say thank you and enjoy the blessings. At first, it was hard, but we also felt that when people told us that God had told them to give "it" to us, we should receive it with thankfulness. Just as we felt blessed time and time again when we shared with others, we did not want to rob them of their blessing. Complicated, but simple, at the same time:) It will be our turn to share again--life has it's seasons.

Karla Neese said...

A timely reminder of how the flow of blessings work! It's amazing how you begin to see even more blessings in life when you are grateful with a heart of receiving for the ones that are given.

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