Last month my sweet friend Maria prayed that God would show up as Provider in tangible out-of-the-box ways. What’s your rent? she asked. I’m going to pray He brings that money in somehow. I smiled over the phone and stifled a laugh. We’re fine. Does God really care about paying our rent through random acts of kindness? We’re praying for job provisions, people. Rent? Really?
I traveled to CA for a few days. Dipped these toes in the sand. Spoke my heart to a room of likeminded women. Couldn’t wait to get home to my boys.
The word God impressed on my heart for 2017 is receive. Receive. This fall I had a few choice words with the good Lord about the meaning. What? Pray, tell exactly what do you want us to receive? Is this a joke?
Oh me of little faith.
Receive doesn’t mean we get what we want.
Or how we believe a gift ought to be given.
Receiving equates interior welcoming as well as exterior accepting.
Receiving means expectantly awaiting how the Divine teaches and grows and gifts.
In His time.
In His ways.
Where before I assumed receiving meant hands open, outstretched, I’m humbled by Psalm 91; where our entire beings are covered under his wings. Where protection and warmth and safety and space envelop us in His mighty presence. We receive not to fill our hands but to be covered under Him alone.
His presence is the gift to receive.
Obviously awareness to receive has been at the forefront of my mind. So when I got back from a soul-filling time in CA and speaking in real I-don’t-have-answers-but-Jesus-does-time, I was greeted with our family’s opportunity to receive provision. In tangible ways.
Through an anonymous letter and encouraging note containing cash and motivation to continue being faithFULL.
Through a check from a family friend for an absurd amount. I can’t even write this without ugly crying on computer keys.
As the boys walk in from school, their faces lighting up at the sight of hot cocoa and peppermint stirrers and my overeagerness with a mountain of marshmallows, Ty hands the mail over, and together we open a flat package and 3- count them 3– $100 bills float to the ground with Target gift cards from someone saying God put our family on their heart a month ago and they are now a part of our story. And I’m ugly crying and reading aloud, and the boys are sipping and watching from under eyelashes, and I’m murmuring through tears about how beautiful God’s provision is, saying,
Do you see? Do you see what a gift this is?
And then his eyes poke over a hill of squishy marshmallows and our youngest breathes out in barely a whisper.
Wow. God must really care.
That’s right, sweet boy. Down to the penny of our December rent.
If you’re in a season of waiting, solitude or silence, if you’re hesitant to believe that God desires for you to receive, or wonder if he even cares, may I encourage you to give hope a try and ask Him to show up?
Are you more comfortable giving or receiving? What would it look like to trust God cares enough to give? How will you allow yourself to trust He does indeed want to show up and provide?
Ask, then slow yourself enough to notice, respond and celebrate in the tangible, in the people, in the truth whispers and surprising ways God echoes:
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. – Psalm 91: 4,5