Hello from Kathy Collard Miller in the Southern California desert where it’ll soon be cooler weather!
“Mommy, I’m ready to go over to Irene’s!” I cried out. I had my pajamas and toothbrush! It was going to be my first overnighter at my best friend, Irene’s house, across the street. I could hardly contain my excitement. I felt like such a big girl to be able to spend the night at someone’s house. A big step for a first-grader!
My mother accompanied me across the street and Irene and I had a great time that evening. We didn’t go to sleep until late. The next morning, we woke up, played with our dolls for awhile. Then I packed up my stuff in my little duffel bag.
Irene’s mom peeked into Irene’s room and said, “Kathy, you’re not going without eating breakfast, are you?”
I’d forgotten about breakfast, but it just didn’t seem right to both spend the night and have breakfast. Wasn’t that too much to ask? Did I deserve that much joy? I just couldn’t receive the second part of the gift, so I answered, “Thank you, Mrs. Luna, but I have to go home.”
Mrs. Luna nodded, frowning, and walked me across the street.
After she left, my mother asked me about my time.
“Oh, we had the best time playing. But I’m hungry. Can I have a bowl of cereal?”
My mother looked at me. “Kathy, didn’t they give you breakfast?”
I shyly explained, “I didn’t think I was supposed to spend the night and have breakfast too.”
My mom laughed gently and said, “Yes, honey, it would have been fine to have both.”
She fixed me a bowl of cereal and I thought deeply about how I could have enjoyed another good thing if I’d accepted it. I loved Mrs. Luna’s freshly made tortillas. I missed out!
At times I come to God with my thanks for all He’s done for me, but somehow feel that I don’t really deserve anything more. Yet I can also come asking for help in a struggle and find that He strengthens me. But sometimes I’m only willing to accept a small slice of that help instead of receiving as much as I need for full victory. In both cases, it’s overwhelming to think that He loves me that much to give me both the overnighter and breakfast too.
It’s only when I remind myself that God doesn’t bless me, use me, empower me–or anything else!–because I deserve it. He gives generously because He’s a generous, loving God. If I had to deserve His gifts, it would never happen.
What are you feeling awkward about receiving from God’s hand? Help? Blessings? Affirmation? Love? Do you feel like you have to deserve it?
He wants to give you everything you need. You’ll never deserve it but you can receive it.