It’s the father and son moment that makes memories. You take your young son (or daughter) out to toss the ball around for the first time. And in those few minutes, a special bonding happens that will bring smiles to your face for years to come, even after the son has long moved out.
But this one didn’t go as planned. This crisp autumn afternoon would be the last day we tossed the ball around. He had his little glove, he threw the baseball with delight; but when the ball was being returned, he wasn’t ready. Maybe he got distracted, maybe I threw too early before he was looking, or maybe life was just going to take a bad turn … whatever it was, he wasn’t ready. And the ball sailed over his glove and smacked him in the nose. Splat. Blood. Mayhem. Wails. And running to his mother. And she looked at him with deep sympathy and love … and looked at me with ______, well, I won’t forget that look for a while.
This was not the memory I was expecting to make.
I came across a phrase recently … “A Posture of Receptivity”. It hit home. Our Heavenly Father is out there, ready to give strength and power. Ready to rain down blessings. But are we ready? Have we gotten prepared to receive these blessings? Are we posturing ourselves, putting ourselves into a position, to catch/receive What He desires to give us!
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength (Isaiah 40:29–31).
As a church leader, I regret that churches way too often talk about wanting God’s blessings, we pray for people to come to know Christ, and we say we want grow … but we are not really ready to receive what God desires to give. We put conditions on what we want … we reject things that doesn’t fit our expectations … we get distracted doing other things. Whatever the reason, we just aren’t ready.
This situation is more than just church families. Individually, we desire to grow and mature in the faith. We long to be used more, have more opportunities, and make a bigger impact for The Kingdom. But we don’t want to put in the hours, the effort, or the discipline to be ready to receive/catch when God throws the ball our way.
- Seek Him. He delights when we look for Him and look for what ways He desires for us. We are to look for where He is already at work, and God will bless. Hebrews 11.6
- Walk in His ways. Being postured to receive is done by walking obediently in the ways He has already revealed. It is about His ways, not ours. Psalm 84.11
- Stay humble. When we realize all we have is from Him, when we realize we can’t do it own our on, then He will lift us up. James 4.10
- Be good stewards in what He has already given us. Acknowledging and taking care of what He has already given us is vital. It is important to use our talents wisely. Proverbs 3.9-10
This list is not exclusive, but a great way to get our mindset and our lifestyle into a posture of receptivity.
An athlete has to work out and get physically ready for the event. A farmer has to prepare the land, sow the seed, and tend to the field before the harvest. And a soldier has to train and be equipped using the armor and weapons. And yet we think God’s blessing will be poured out even when we do not get ready to receive.
So get ready – and then when He does toss us the ball, we will be prepared to catch it.