The art of receiving

The virtues of giving have been extolled over and over again. We all strive to give our time, our resources, our attention, our selves, our love. It does not help when you know you are called to be a blessing to a world beyond yourself and your immediate family. Giving to one’s immediate family itself can be quite overwhelming. We are admonished and we push ourselves to give, give and give again as though we are sources rather than vessels, which when poured out must be filled again.

I give my time, I give my resources, I give my attention, I give my presence. How can I truly keep giving if I do not find the time to replenish? If I give daily, I need to receive daily. I live to give but in order to keep living and not die giving, I need the art of receiving. I need to learn how to receive because my receiving is what enables me to give in the first place.

This requires what may look like selfishness but I am learning to do it more. I am learning from Jesus Christ whom I follow. He ministered to multitudes of people, but he found it necessary to retreat from time to time into solitude and silence, not even with his disciples, it seems, just to receive, to replenish from the only Source who needs no replenishing. Little wonder Christ was still able to forgive his crucifiers and even grant access to Paradise while on the cross.

I am learning to set aside chunks of time during my day, usually in the very early hours of the morning, when I do nothing but receive. I do not even write, I just “stand upon my watch and wait to hear what He will say unto me.” I am so in need of replenishing, probably more so than others, that I strive to do it daily, avoiding all forms of interference.

I have written before, that my life goes into a tailspin if I allow even a short period of time to pass without replenishing. I honestly have no clue how anyone can go for days or weeks without moments of solitude but I guess it shows how needy I am. I am most dependent during my times of receiving because I acknowledge that I am in need, thirsty, hungry. The receiving I am referring to is nourishment, for spirit, soul and body. Nourishment is something we share even with plants who are almost wholly dependent.

In addition to receiving directly from the Source, I am also learning to receive from other human beings. I am learning that God has a right to speak through any human being He chooses and it is in my best interest to listen for God in every human being that comes across my path, starting from my wife and daughter, whom those of us who are called to bless the world easily ignore.

I am also learning that one of the greatest gifts I can give another being is to receive what they have to give. There is something heavenly about entering into a giving and receiving relationship where each person gives and receives so that we keep getting replenished as we give, in an endless loop.

– Tolúlopé

14 thoughts on “The art of receiving

  1. Bros , I love this ''nothing is given to us except that which is given to us by God''. I experience this a lot in my life ,after telling people about great God is , how much of self control we must have to serve God , how we can be made pure by God, these are all I say , but minutes after this , i begin to feel down , like totally cut off from God , doubts of all kind fill my mind questioning my faith and sanity. When this happens , I know i have to cut off and be naked before God , telling everything to Him and surrendering all at His feet. Thank you so much for this,God bless you.Am so insufficient on my own , myself without God is so sinful and perverse.

  2. Tolu, Beautiful post. I have found that the closer, I get to the Lord, I just want to spend more time receiving. No words, no agenda, just stillness, in His presence. Complete surrender, resting in His love, with open hands and an open heart, ready to receive spiritual nourishment and replenishment for the day. I too, after much prayer, now understands how to receive from others, knowing that the Lord, speaks to me, through others, and that I must listen and respect, what they have to say. God Bless

  3. Tolulope, I feel you, big time. The more we bless others, the more we must be blessed ourselves. Imagine Elijah needing infilling. I like the idea of cutting off, from time to time and letting myself soak God's presence. The good thing is that He does not look at you or me as sinful and perverse, He looks at you and me as His bride, spotless and without wrinkle and that is something to sing and dance about. If He fills me/you up, then in my/your eyes or in the eyes of others I/you may be perverse or sinful but not in my/your Daddy's eyes. He really loves His girls, don't forget. He not only loves them, He likes them and you are one of His girls.

  4. Carole, thank you for your comments. I like the idea of no agenda in God's presence. I do it a lot. Stillness. Complete surrender. Receiving spiritual nourishment and replenishment. For the day. I like the "for the day" because it is not for the week or the month or the year but the day. It is daily bread. Thank you for highlighting that.Yes, receiving from others is one of the greatest blessings we can bestow on ourselves and them. I am learning how to do it more, even from my 3 year old. I am learning how to just be present, fully present with every human being. Thank you for this.

  5. "I honestly have no clue how anyone can go for days or weeks without moments of solitude but I guess it shows how needy I am"…Take for example, the battery of my cell phone, it recharges best when I let it be; when I leave it alone (solitude), connecting it to its power source. And then, I can use it. If I understand that about batteries, then I ought to understand that my life which is in constant use "ALL DAY" requires periods of recharging, which is best done when I'm left alone to connect to my power source. That said, I have been in a limbo for the past couple of days, mourning, yet celebrating the life of a very dear dear dear friend of mine who passed away on April 7 from a sudden heart attack…but I managed to get out my phone to read your post and in a way, it recharged me. It comforted me, as it reminded me that although we are not meant to live in this world forever, for as long as we are in this world, we have a powersource who has promised never to leave us nor forsake us. Thank you Tolu for continuing to be you. You are lifted.

  6. Bunmi, thanks again for taking my post farther. Your battery analogy summarizes my post. Thank you for continuing to be you.I am so sorry to hear about your friend's departure. Having been there myself before, I do not know what to say beyond what you have said. In times like these, we need recharging. Interestingly, the post referenced in this post was written days after a dear friend's sister passed on. It is called, "In his presence" and I refer to the incident in the post as well as the time I had to go through a similar situation. May you find strength in the only place where strength can be found – in His Presence. Thank you for taking time out to write and to share this with the rest of us. Namaste to you, Bunmi.

  7. GREAT… my receiving is what enables me to give in the first place…I can't stop thinking about this awesome phrase…I think this is one of the biggest secrets of life,..if all of us try to understand it,we can build a better and stronger connection with GOD at first and then with people around us,our family,friends,etc…and this is what we need to know to enter that endless loop.Thanks Tolu for keeping this torch burning on my way.

  8. Thank you Bahar for being the wonderful human being that you are. Thank you for opening up to the light, to inspiration, to joy. Thank you for letting God speak through you. Thank you for seeing beyond what i say and for connecting the dots. Thank you.

  9. ["I need to learn how to receive because my receiving is what enables me to give in the first place."] I see here that ‘receiving is an art’ from which I’m daily a student. The whole essence of giving is receiving. God starts with a Savior whom we must receive in order to replicate and give back to the world. A woman receives seed in order to give back a nation.["…I guess it shows how needy I am."] This resonates with me. I am needy too. I need Him like the very air I breath. ["There is something heavenly about entering into a giving and receiving relationship where each person gives and receives so that we keep getting replenished as we give, in an endless loop."]This is so profound and beautifully said. Sin hinders fellowship as other things but unhindered fellowship is truly beautiful.I am learning that there’s more to God than the perfunctory kiss I give Him every morning. I hustle about my day’s business, get easily irked and ill at ease to fully give of myself to others. I am saddened that pain and adversity are the catalyst for hurtling me deep into His presence where a few minutes won't do. In rediscovering mysteries and His beauty; too awesome to describe and like Moses I want to cry ‘Lord, show me your face, not just your hand’, I weep that at the onset, I was unwillingly to truly give of myself and my time to fellowship with Him. But as He envelopes me in His presence, it seems I can truly give without strain because His goodness gushes out unhindered. And I really want to give, I desire to be a blessing but most times I do it in my own power and according to my own understanding. I have since discovered that to truly give, to truly be a blessing, I have to be the conduit and let Him work through me, His way, His time and to whomever. And to truly receive, I have to let Him lead me to whomever, whenever and however.I am learning to give first to my husband, to my daughter and then to the world. Thank you for this thoughtful piece and do have a great weekend.

  10. Thank you for this heartfelt and beautifully written reflection. I am honored that you would post it here. This a climax for me – "But as He envelopes me in His presence, it seems I can truly give without strain because His goodness gushes out unhindered."As usual, your comments are always food for thought.Please have a great weekend yourself and regards to the blessed man who is married to one who brings forth such insights and the lovely daughter who calls you both Mummy and Daddy.

  11. Tolú- Your post was most necessary. It is a reminder to us all that we cannot continue to pour out without replenishing ourselves. (the giver-versus the vessel moments in our days) I understand what you mean about feeling disconnected and going into a tailspin when you do not set time aside for your meditation and communion with Christ. I too can go only for so long before everything in me tells me I am out of kilter. I am in disharmony and completely feeling like a wandering page in the wind, until I reconnect with the source of my soul. This is not selfish. it is a necessity. Such as water and food, when we consume those we don't feel like we are being selfish. It is the same with our spiritual hunger and replenishment. Beautiful post. Very real, very human, very vulnerable……very humble….and very on target! Thank you- Ella

  12. Thank you Ella.Without recharging from time to time, I too "am in disharmony and completely feeling like a wandering page in the wind, until I reconnect with the source of my soul." I find this so well written and it resonates with me.I am grateful for having people like you share your thoughts here. Thank you so much for your affirmation and for being a kindred spirit.

  13. Hope you don't mind be 'butting' in here again Tolu.I Just wanted to say, I have really, really enjoyed the conversation here, via all the comments. I am truly blessed, by the comments as they really do add value to your post and they are helping me to go higher in Him. What a blessing, that we can refresh our brothers and sisters in Christ, no matter where we are as, we are all part of the family of God. Blessings to you and your family.

  14. Thanks again Carole. You can "butt" in here as often as you like. You enrich this place. Thank you. Iron sharpens iron and we refresh each other. I am blessed to have such an amazing group of engaged readers. I love you, all of you who visit and I am going to write a post about that soon. Thank you. You all bless me. You all enrich my life.

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