Than to receive. Acts 20:35
This morning out on the deck I heard a whisper… “It is better to give than to receive.” I have had that scripture whispering to me for some time now. I have determined that there is an art-form in both giving and receiving. Both acts require acute humbleness. As a giver, one can not come bearing offerings with a heart of superiority, but rather from a deep understanding that, “there by the grace of God, go I.” and the receiver cannot be so prideful as to ask God to save them, and then not be open to the paths He may choose to do so. I find that nicely wrapped in whatever the issue is an opportunity for personal growth.
I have been on both ends of this issue.. both the giver and the givee.. and it is true, it is better to be a giver, then to be in a place of deep need. It is a open vulnerability that comes with needing others to come a long side and assist in the situation. And quite frankly it takes a special like of hoppspa to be able to pull it off.
In a world where it has become easier to live life independently, and to “market” the perfect life on social media… I think being vulnerable has become less of a skill. And yet, one that is desperately needed.
I have found that if I allow God to move through situations in my life, the way that he would choose, there is abundant blessings for both actions.. both require me to get to the place of understanding that, nudges me into community. Both of these things being used to show me, that perhaps it isn’t what God is “doing TO me, or even allowing to happen to me”, but rather what He is doing FOR us.”
Outside of my own experience, I don’t have to look far to see others who are doing this well. Tragedy, like the fires here in our State, bring out the best in people (and sometimes the worst), but if we focus on the best, we see people donating much needed items and communities coming together in ways that remind us that when we need help, help is available if we stay open to all the ways those doors open to us.
There are few people more proud then our farmers and ranchers. By their very nature it is why and how they do what they do. They are artfully skilled at keeping one boot in front of the other, skillfully tending to all the things that are demanded of them any given day. Often times, they are the first to lend aid to others in need. Inside every rancher I know, there is still that independent, trailblazing nature that won the west. Yet, find themselves in a place of need from outside sources, I imagine, may be a bit of a dance that they will have to find their footing with.
It was no different. When the Meniers grabbed a hold of my life, and it became evident that I simply could not do what I do without someone else riding shotgun or even taking over the driver’s seat. Having to be humble enough to pull over and wait out a spell, cancel a meeting or call for help.. I hated it all. Correction, I still hate it all. But, I have also been blessed to learn that there are those in my life, who will show up. Who will drive “miss crazy” where she needs or wants to go. And, I am learning that sometimes a phone call can accomplish all I truly need it to. Tragedy and trauma do have a way with changing things up, but who says that is always a bad thing?
These events are tragic there is no doubt, but as I look at the chard ground around us… see the devastation, and wonder about all the displaced lives and livestock. I still choose to believe that God is working for us. That beauty will once again arise from the ashes and lives will be changed, for the better, for having been given, one more time, the opportunity to open ourselves up to the outside world and find community.
While it is better to give than to receive, each comes with its own set of rewards if done right. With that in mind, as we move through this season, I hope because of my own experience, I can be just a little bit more tender to those who are learning how to be vulnerable -I know they may not all do it “right” the first time. And when called to give, I pray I can lend what ever time, talents and resources in a spirit of coming along side of… finding ways to honor those who find themselves in need..
After all, there for the grace of God…….