What does it mean to receive?

Giving and receiving

I thought I knew how to receive. I mean, I have lived as a missionary my entire life. I’ve raised money for non-profits, I’ve lived overseas – totally dependent on financial support from donors, churches, and families. I’ve lived my life on receiving finances without going to a job that clocks in from 8-5 for 20 years. I thought I knew what it was like to receive.

What I’ve figured out over the past week is that I have justified everything I’ve received with the work I do for people on my financial supporters behalf. Basically I felt as if I was being paid to serve in other people’s place. On one hand, it is true – but on the other hand, people have been so generous over the years.

As people have come together for us, God told me – “this is what generosity and receiving feels like. You can’t ‘do’ anything for anyone that is showering you and Kristi with love. You can’t go ‘do good’ on their behalf. You can never pay them back.”

I’m in awe. I am humbled. I am broken. I am new.

The Good News that Jesus rescued me has the same implications. I have chased Jesus. I have “lived” for Jesus. I have “served” Jesus. Was that to pay for His loving gift of redemption? Was I trying to serve to justify His death on the cross? Whoa is me! I am undone! Forgive me Jesus for trying to even come close to giving back anything comparable to your death, grace, and love for me. I sit in silence, unmoving, receiving your love and affection, showered by your grace, drinking in your affection, bathing in your free gift.

Isaac has made it his mission to feed me. He has not taken no for an answer. Thank you!

Dale and Diana have made it their mission to love my kids and spoil them rotten. Thank you!

My family, mom, dad, Jim, Linda, Teresa, Tammy, Todd, Carter, Emily, Karyssa, Santos, Kaylin, Sam, Crossen, Ashlyn, Jeremy, Jenni, Rachele, Robert, ARTHUR- I don’t mean to leave anyone out!! (Blame it on the cancer) They have made it their mission to fill in all the gaps! I have felt at peace for my kids and home. Thank you!

My staff! They have made it their mission to carry on serving people! Thank you!

Reuben has owned leadership like a boss. I have totally dropped everything. Thank you!

Emily. girl, you are a blessing!!

These are people I can name. Oh yeah, and Shana, Matt, Judy, …crap(sorry mom!) I can’t even name everyone who has showered us with affection and love. And guess what?! I CAN NEVER PAY THEM BACK!

That is receiving! I see it now! My heart has shifted. My mind has experienced unmerited favor.

Here’s my challenge to you. Next time someone does something nice for you and it makes you feel uncomfortable or awkward; or that feeling arises that says you need to “pay it forward” or pay them back. Don’t! Just Receive!

Ray Rhoton



6 thoughts on “What does it mean to receive?

  1. This is awesome bro. All of us are blessed to be able to give so that you guys can be blessed to receive! What an awesome family of warriors! Love you guys

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Like so many, I truly have enjoyed your writings on this journey. It was amazing to see the love and support for Kristi from the hospital parking lot. The planning and coordination of this event was such a blessing and to see Kristi’s reaction was deeply touching to all who watched. Praying for tolerance of the chemo drugs and strength for each day ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ray! Ray! I’m so happy your receiving! It’s so hard for givers to receive. Preach it brother, a new Pastor has been born. Praising God for his love, his mercies, his priceless gift!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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