Resisting God’s Gifts

Like most toddlers, my 18-month-old loves exercising what little independence she has. Recently, she’s discovered that she can sneak in and help herself to some grapes when one of us unsuspectingly opens the refrigerator door. Unfortunately, what she doesn’t know is that the grapes she’s eating are dirty.

I usually don’t rinse fruit until right before we eat it, so when she helps herself without permission she’s getting grimy grapes straight from the store. When I catch her in the act, I intervene, grab a handful of grapes, and rinse them off for her. But rather than accept the bowl of freshly rinsed grapes I offer her, she throws a fit, turns her back, and reaches in for another dirty grape. It’s really quite ridiculous. What I’ve come to realize, is that it’s not about the grapes at all. It’s about doing things her way, even if what I have to offer is better.

This scenario sounds oddly familiar…{and here I go putting my spiritual spin on things…}

We live in a world where we’re told to work hard and be independent. We’re made to feel that accepting something freely is free loading. We feel like in order to get something, we must earn it or, at the very least, return the favor. It feels awkward to simply receive. Think about it…when was the last time you received a favor or a gift without feeling the slightest twinge that you should do something in return.

But isn’t that exactly what God, often, calls us to do?

To receive His love.

To receive His grace.

To receive His forgiveness.

But our human nature fights this.

My walk with the Lord has been a journey of learning to surrender my life to Him, one area at a time. For years there was one area in particular that I struggled to let go of. I would go through the same agonizing process every few months for years. I’d “surrender” it to the Lord only to take it back and feel defeated all over again. When it finally became too heavy of a burden to carry anymore, God opened my eyes to how stubborn I was being. It was as if I was saying, “Okay, God, I trust you with everything else except this one thing. I’ll figure out how to deal with it myself.”

But God in His great mercy revealed to me that He was offering me healing, but that I was refusing to accept it. In His great love, all that He was asking of me was to simply receive it and trust Him. His path to healing was much different than what I expected, but His ways usually are.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” 

Isaiah 55:8

God knows the big picture of our lives, we don’t. His ways are good even though we may not understand them. His plans are to give us hope and a future. Never to harm us. (Jeremiah 29:11) We must trust Him at His Word and hold onto this truth.


 Pray & Reflect

 How difficult is it for you to freely receive a favor or gift? How does that translate into your acceptance of God’s work in your life?

Have you been resisting Him and trying to do things your own way? Confess anything that you are struggling to completely surrender to Him. He wants to restore you, but you must ask and be willing to trust and follow His ways.


 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,”

Ephesians 3:20

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He is at work within you. Preparing you for something far beyond what you can imagine. Accept what He is offering. It is good.


 

Image credit: flickr.com

 

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