Learning to receive

Posted on December 30, 2014 by VMMissions Staff

[dropcap]God[/dropcap] loves a cheerful giver. There is joy in giving. It is better to give than to receive. We have been taught the importance of giving, but what about those times when we find ourselves on the receiving end?

I was recently visiting a neighbor who lost her husband in a construction accident early this past year. She raises three children, ages 12, 10 and 4, without any income.

When we visit, our talks are very superficial due to insufficient language, but I know the company is good for both of us. Earlier in the week, our family stopped by to deliver some items for school and some groceries.

I returned the following day for coffee. When I arrived the next afternoon, we visited a bit before she invited our family to eat dinner with them that evening.

I had so many thoughts racing through my mind. How could I explain that I didn’t want to take what little she had? Every time I tried to provide an excuse, she asked why. Looking into her eyes, I knew that to deny her would be a rejection of her gift.

I finally committed that Vince and I would join them for a little bit, knowing that we would go home and share a meal with our kids, without a concern of how to provide for them. As we were about to eat, she asked why our kids couldn’t come.

Knowing I was not fully receiving her precious gift, again I accepted with teeth clenched. We called the boys to come join us.

The eight of us sat around the coffee table while my friend served us. As I made room for her to sit beside me, I saw there was no food left in the pans.
Fork and knife
I insisted that she share my plate, which she refused. She took some bread added a piece of cheese and a few tomato slices, while the rest of us enjoyed the potatoes and chicken she had prepared. Her children scarfed down their food as if they hadn’t eaten in two days while I could hardly take a bite for the lump in my throat. I secretly passed some of my food to the four-year-old.

This poor woman’s gift to us was exorbitant.

I sat basking in such gratitude, praising God for the blessings that He has given us, for the ability to share with my friend, and for the very hard lesson of learning to receive.

Your generosity through prayer, financial gifts, loving words that offer emotional support is not unlike this situation—they enable us to be here in this community, to demonstrate Jesus’ love to this widow and others like her. We receive your gifts with a gratitude that we cannot express. May God’s blessings be poured out on you.

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