by Sharman J. Monroe
A couple of weeks ago I locked my car keys in the trunk. I went back into my house to find the two spare keys I knew were there, but I could find neither. I asked God to show me where the keys were, but heard nothing. Since my request was not contrary to God’s Word, I knew the answer was “wait”. I told people what happened (it got to be very funny). They each said the same thing – God wanted me to be still and not to pay to get a key made. I also told people what I was doing while I was waiting to hear from God – I wasn’t upset because the car was beside my house and I talked to God several times a day asking Him to show me where the keys were in my house. I knew God had allowed this to happen to me so I was desperate to find out what I was supposed to learn from this incident, to pass my test, and move on. I felt like Jonah in the whale. So I also asked God to show me what I had failed to do for Him so I could now obey. I started to do all the things that had been sitting for months on my To-Do list. While I was waiting, I used my daughter’s car or Metro. Sometimes, I would ask friends for a ride to places, but not often. When I did ask, they were glad to do so; no one declined or made a snide remark. Nevertheless, I felt uncomfortable asking for a ride. I felt it diminished me. I felt it was a huge red neon sign telling people something was wrong with me. I felt they would harshly judge and criticize me. I also felt they expected something tangible from me in return. I was comfortable being the giver, not the receiver.
One day, I walked into a meeting I regularly attend and my friend, Joan, asked me if I needed a ride home. When she asked me, she had a huge smile on her face. She wanted to do it! Then, I remembered that about a month earlier, my friend, Carol, gave me a large sum of money out of the blue. I hadn’t asked for any money so I wasn’t expecting any, but she wanted to do it! Last week, Phillip, a disciple of my church, volunteered to get the keys out of my trunk without damaging my car after hearing my funny story. He wanted to do it!
This week, as I was reading, I came across this scripture:
Better [is the one] who is slighted but has a servant, Than he who honors himself but lacks bread. Proverbs 12:9 (NKJV)
It grabbed my attention and I lingered over it. I went to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary and looked up the word “slighted”. According to the dictionary, a synonym for “slight” is “wound”. It hit me – God wants us to receive from another when we have a need! Not just with a hasty thank you, but sincerely and deeply in our hearts. I realized I needed to sincerely, without feeling guilty or small or less of a person, receive from another. I realized receiving is not about me owing something in return. Moreover, I realized a person responding to a need did not expect something in return. I realized it’s not about me at all. It’s about God. It’s about the gifts He instills in people to profit all and about people being obedient to His promptings. It’s about the blessings and provisions He pours out and the glory He receives.
As women, we are notorious for declining help when we have a need because we don’t want to feel we are not a “good” mother or a “good” wife. We feel we need to be Superwoman. The reality is you are not from Krypton. Stop falling for this lie of the enemy! His job is to steal, kill and destroy you. (John 10:10). When you are tired, cranky or irritable because you are being Superwoman, you open the door for the enemy to bring unnecessary drama into your life. You also reject the blessings and provisions God is giving you through someone else. In doing so, you reject God. You fall into the sin of pride. The second part of Proverbs 12:9 states when you focus on yourself, you suffer. Focusing on yourself and your abilities is pride. And we all know pride comes before the fall. (Proverbs 16:18).
You can receive help when you have a need and still be a “good” mother or a “good” wife. So…. receive that help with heartfelt gratitude especially when you didn’t ask for it. Receive that compliment with a hearty “Thank You!” without putting yourself down. (a compliment is always a blessing and can be a service to you!) Receive that shoulder in times of trouble and receive rest. On the flip side, teach someone (your child, your spouse, etc.) how to do something you feel compelled to do in your Superwoman mode (wash clothes, make a bed, chair a committee, etc). Later, that someone will be able to provide for a need of yours which you, of course, will gladly receive!
After all, if you cannot receive from another, how can you receive, truly receive and accept, from God, the Ultimate Provider? Every day, you are wounded and have needs only God can satisfy. Grace, which He faithfully supplies. (Ephesians 2:8). Mercies, which He faithfully supplies. (Psalm 103:11, Lamentations 3:22, Ephesians 2:4). Forgiveness for sins, which He faithfully supplies. (Psalm 103:11-12, Isaiah 43:25, 1 John 1:19). Most of all, His love, which He faithfully supplies. (John 3:16, Romans 5: 8, Ephesians 2:4). Are you truly receiving and accepting what God is giving to you? Are you missing out on something because you don’t receive wholeheartedly from God? Resolve today to be a cheerful receiver!
Yes, Phillip got my keys out of the trunk without damaging my car. One of my spare keys was in the glove box. After he left, I found the other in the house. I learned my lesson and passed the test.
Question for Comment: In what ways can you become a cheerful receiver? Has this post helped you in any way?
Sharman worships at Shechem Covenant Outreach Ministries under the leadership of Pastor Tommy Terrell, III. Shechem currently meets at Samuel P. Massie Elementary School in Forestville, Maryland.