This week I have been serving on a charity cafe at a Christian festival. It’s been so brilliant getting to work alongside such vibrant, passionate people and to have, in my breaks, such great teaching, worship, entertainment and rest.
The blessings have been countless, the joy and community I have experienced will not be forgotten in a hurry. One blessing however, stands out for me in particular:
The other day, as I was walking across site, still in my volunteering uniform, a woman approached me and said “I just felt God prompted me ‘give this to that girl’. Take this, thank you for all you do”, with this she placed some money in my hand and hurried away. I didn’t know what to do; I felt uncomfortable taking the money and even more so thinking that she had felt prompted to give it to me in particular.
Being an internal processer I gave it some thinking time and it struck me that one of two things (or both) were holding me back from truly appreciating this gift from a stranger. I figured it was either pride preventing me from accepting generosity, or the fact I believed God would not prompt anyone to bless me in this way and perhaps she’s been mistaken.
With this in the back of my mind I realised I can often be like this with many blessings and gifts God has given me over the years. Underlying any gift I have received, whether practical, ability wise or just experiencing God’s presence, I have felt a prominent feeling of undeserving. Whilst this is true and I will never deserve the unconditional love poured over me through Jesus, I shouldn’t stop here.
I believe it is not God’s intention to bless me so that I can feel increasingly unworthy in light of his generosity. I believe it is not his way to empower me with abilities in order to make me feel like he’s continuously choosing the wrong person to partner with him, in the spreading of his love and the bringing about of the values of heaven to people on earth.
I was reminded yesterday of the beautiful image of the marginalised woman weeping at Jesus’ feet and pouring out her expensive perfume as an act of love towards him (give it a read in Mark 14:3). I’d heard it before but it hit me again just how intimate and precious a moment that must have been and how I longed to express my love for Jesus in a similarly personal and deep way. But further down my thought process I realised that Jesus dying for me on the cross (so that I can experience forgiveness and relationship with him) was an even more extravagant expression of his undying love for me.
With the peicing together of these experiences I have come to realise that my God is never too kind, never too gracious towards me, never loves me too much or is too generous. He is a loving God, a fatherly God, who wants to give his children the best so that they can become their best – just as we were created to be. His love is perfect.
For so long I have loosely acknowledged the gifts God has given me (certain abilities I have or things I am able to do with relative ease which isn’t always the way for others, or even my circumstances and friendships). I have spotted the gifts wrapped up and handed to me but chosen not to unwrap them, use them, enjoy them and embrace the fullness of life God has already given me.
I want to become truly grateful and in doing that I must become active. For so long I thought to be grateful was to fully recognise that I was unworthy of the incredible kindness God shows me – but I would just stop there. I don’t want to dwell on my wrong doings and the reasons I don’t deserve this love from God. I want to gratefully dive into the potential God has declared over me, the gifts he wants me to use to bless others and bring him glory and fame. I want to fully receive his love and love others knowing confidently that the God I so so love, loves me and all of us on this earth even more than we can imagine and ever earn.