“You have granted me life and steadfast love, and your care has preserved my spirit.” Job 10:12
One day, the word recipient burst clearly into my mind. It was an instantaneous reflection and realization that I had been blessed by an overwhelming outpouring. Of course, God, the Spirit, is my Comforter. But, Christ’s Body, the Church, was also rallying around me.
I am a recipient of a tapestry of ministry that is a gift of grace. By faith, I simply resist fear. I do have to fight fear. I also need to stand firm. I keep reminding myself to stay firmly planted on the foundation of my faith in Christ. And then, I humbly open my eyes and my hands to receive the love and support from him and his Bride, the Church.
“They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you…” 1 Timothy 6:18-20
It is said to be better to give than to receive. But there are periods in life where you must receive. I have been blessed to receive an outpouring of support. I trust that those who have given freely to support me have received blessings, as well.
“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35
I know this: I have been a recipient, and it is also blessed to receive. I thank God for the Body of Christ. One morning I awoke and went to my back porch. I have a routine where I process, decompress, read, pray, cry, and drink coffee. On this morning, I came to a time of prayer. I had been teaching through The Lord’s Prayer at my church. I began to pray…“Our…”
And I stopped.
I couldn’t even get past “Our.” I began to cry again as I recounted God’s goodness to me through his Body, the Church. The Lord’s Prayer doesn’t begin with “My Father.” It begins with “Our Father.”
And “Our” is a powerful word.
“Trauma is a personal experience, but recovery is a communal one.” Katherine and Jay Wolf, Suffer Strong
I camped out on that one word for a long time that morning. I reveled in gratitude as I contemplated the gift of community. Don’t miss this single and powerful word in Matthew 6:9: “Our…”
My brother’s family gave me a bookmark quoting a Ghanaian proverb: “A tree alone cannot withstand a storm.” That proverb delivers lessons both true and unnecessary. It’s true we are not islands to ourselves. We are not alone. And it’s unnecessary even to try to stand alone. Walking through a broken world requires standing together.
I have been surrounded by the love of Christ through his Church, and I am a recipient. A tapestry of ministry has overflowed into my life during a difficult journey. I have, indeed, faced loss. However, I have not faced loss alone.
I am a recipient of a tapestry of ministry.
“For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.” Philemon 1:7