Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Masks

This picture is a link for ordering the book
Click on this picture to order the book.
Terry Buethe is a Lutheran pastor, counselor, teacher, writer and good friend. He wrote this book to offer encouragement to those who suffer from depression and for those who feel sad or discouraged from personal life events. It is an excellent book for personal devotions or for group work. 

He has graciously given me permission to post one of the readings from the book. 

Enjoy, be encouraged, know you are loved by your Heavenly Father. 



Re-Learning to Receive

“Tis’ better to give than to receive,” is one of those ageless adages we have all heard. Most would agree it’s not bad advice, especially when trying to teach our children to be generous, compassionate people. But as with many other rules about life, it is not an absolute standard. Circumstances in our lives can send us through cycles of being givers and then being receivers over and over again.

Unfortunately, some of us have learned to be givers so well, it’s hard to become a receiver. When we are giving, we are in control of the situation. We might feel a certain sense of pride or accomplishment that we are able to help someone else.

But to be placed in a situation where we need someone else to help us upsets our sensibilities. We feel as though we have lost ground. We don’t like being dependent on anyone else. We feel vulnerable at the mercy of another person’s decisions. We might even wonder what receiving from this person is going to cost us in the long run because we have also learned “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” And if we are willing to be honest with ourselves, our pride also gets in the way. We don’t want to admit to anyone, not even to ourselves, that we can’t handle everything life throws at us on our own.

Of course, that’s a ridiculous stance to take. No one is equipped to handle everything in life. And if we stop to think about it, it becomes really obvious. We regularly rely on mechanics, doctors, plumbers and truck drivers to provide us with services or deliver goods that we need. We are all dependent on each other, no matter how much we want to believe we are not. But that “I can do this myself” voice is strong and it can prevent us from letting others know we are in need of something they can provide. It can also prevent them from intervening when we aren’t even aware we need help.

Our heavenly Father knows all about our prideful independent streak. He knows we need an example of how it should be done and even to do it for us. That is one of the reasons He sent His Son in human flesh to experience the trials and temptations we do, to feel the hunger, the thirst, the pain and even the fear that we do. We have a Lord and Savior who knows exactly what we are going through and He showed us how to receive as well as how to give.

Jesus received help from the angels after His forty days in the wilderness where Satan repeatedly tempted Him. He and His disciples received meals and lodging from people in many of the places they traveled. He received from a woman who washed His feet with her tears. He showed us there is nothing shameful in receiving.  There is nothing demeaning in allowing another person to come alongside us when we are overwhelmed. In fact, as He was describing the Judgment, He said that when we receive assistance from another person, it allows that person to minister to Jesus. (Matt 25:31-46)

God almost always works through people. He rarely performs big showy miracles. Instead He uses the hands and tongues and feet and ears of those who follow Him. He comes to you through the people who care about you and offer to help. And He comes to you through His Word with promises to care for you in all situations.

Suggested readings: Hebrews 4:14-16

© 2014 Terry Buethe

1 comment:

Terry Buethe said...

Thank you, Kim, for sharing information about Masks. So many people are struggling with issues in their lives, especially during this time of year. May the Masks devotions and your blog help them to know they are never alone as long as they trust Jesus as their Savior.