Receive

31 12 2012

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Sometimes I have to remind myself that everyone, including me, sees life or world events or the Word of God through a particular set of lenses. Education, culture, family, community, and personal experience — they all influence the way we process information, but most of the time we assume that our perceptions are founded on the one true reality, and that people who disagree with us are ignorant, gullible, or just plain wrong.

But the truth is, none of us has the whole picture. We have this sliver of a glimpse, and even that is colored by the lenses we wear.

So, what are we to do? Knowing we simply don’t know could paralyze us, if it weren’t for one unshakable truth.

God knows.

The sovereign, holy God of the universe knows all things, and He is bringing to pass plans formed long ago with perfect faithfulness. While we all run around grasping for our personal version of success and significance, God’s story unfolds, page by page. And because nothing is impossible with Him, even with all our blind selfishness and stumbling about, we still bring glory to His name.

And so, I’ve chosen a word for 2013. “Receive.”

Not that I’m expecting God to give me anything the world might admire or consider great, but I desire to recognize His gifts in whatever form they come, to welcome them with joy and gratitude, knowing that every gift He gives is good. Whether praise or persecution, honor or humiliation, wealth or want, His love chooses well for me.

The word comes from one of my favorite quotes — one that has steadied me many times when the winds and waves of worldly ambition have threatened to throw my little ship off course. It’s from C.S. Lewis’ Perelandra, and was spoken by an angel to the protagonist, Ransom, after he rescued an entire world from an Eden-like fall. As Ransom grapples with the magnitude of his accomplishment, the angel says this:

“Be comforted, small one, in your smallness.
He lays no merit on you.
Receive and be glad.”

My goal for 2013 is to be comforted in my smallness. To happily live for His glory, not seeking merit but only the pleasure of His smile. To awake each new day with the joyful assurance that He will give daily bread according to my soul’s true hunger and not according to my selfish cravings.

I don’t know what 2013 holds. But I know that the pages of this year have been written. There is One who sees what I can’t, who knows what I don’t, and whose purposes will be — must be — accomplished.

This is my goal. To receive and be glad.

Giving thanks in community for (#649 – 659):

the refiner’s fire
the potter’s wheel
the pruning shears
the power of words
the power of art
being known
God’s story already written
the body of Christ
grace to be present
grace to speak
grace to be silent

 Grace and peace to you in this New Year, friends!


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17 responses

31 12 2012
Tatia Cook

Well-written, Jeanne 🙂 Your words resonate so deep within me that they could have come from me! Thank you for expressing them beautifully. May your ability to receive be overwhelmed by the Giver of every good and perfect gift. ❤ to you and your sweet family

1 01 2013
jeannedamoff

Thank you, dear Tatia. I pray the same prayer for you. xo

31 12 2012
Simply Darlene

to be comforted in my smallness… i need to move that from thorn in my side to a blessing.

thank you, miss Jeanne.

may the good Lord increase through you…

blessings.

1 01 2013
jeannedamoff

I always appreciate your honesty, Darlene. Sometimes smallness can feel like a curse, but I try to think of myself and my little personal circle of beloveds as one glowing piece of colored glass in a magnificent mosaic. If we were all big, God’s design would suffer, but if we’re each content to shine just as He intended, our beauty is magnified and reflects His glory. It’s a delightful thought when I manage to hold on to it. 🙂

31 12 2012
Linda

Your words come like an answer to prayer Jeanne. I have been asking the Lord about my word for the coming year. I knew it had to be something that expressed “smallness” – more of Him; less of me. I long to stop striving for the approval of others and be content in Him. I hear Him calling me to it.
Perhaps the word is “humble?”
Thank you for sharing your heart. Happy New Year Jeanne. I am so thankful our paths crossed this past year.

1 01 2013
jeannedamoff

I’m so glad these words encouraged you, Linda. I know what you mean about striving for approval — such a powerful temptation, fleeting and fickle though the praise of man may be. And the truth is, simply by being you, you are a blessing and treasure to many, probably much more than you realize. I pray the Lord grants you great joy and contentment simply to be His, leaving all the rest in His hands. Love to you, friend. xo

1 01 2013
lschontos

Oh Jeanne – I hadn’t seen this. Yes – how very sweet of the sweet of the Lord. Thank you so much for this. Love you friend.

2 01 2013
Robin Lawrimore

Smallness is a comfort. Stillness, too. So many times I reach for what Jesus did with a bag lunch to believe that if I offer what I have, that small isn’t small in Heaven’s hands. Your words are soothing and always a blessing. So here’s to receiving and being glad that He knows!

3 01 2013
jeannedamoff

Thank you, Robin! So true about smallness placed in His hands. Thank you for that.

3 01 2013
laura

Hello, beautiful friend. I’ve just come from A Deeper Family and saw your name above mine on Diana’s post and just had to click over to see you. I received your lovely letter and may I just say how beautiful your family is? And how beautiful is your heart? I put this post together with that letter and just want to give you a great big hug. Your voice is so special to me. I’m grateful for you. Saying this from my small. Celebrating it.

3 01 2013
jeannedamoff

Thank you, dear Laura. I hear your heart in your words, and it’s almost as good as a “real” hug. I’m grateful for you, too. Truly. Celebrating with you. xo

5 01 2013
Nancy Nordenson (@NancyNordenson)

“To be comforted in smallness.” “To receive and be glad.” Thank you, Jeanne, for these words. I love this posture of peace and anticipation for the new year.

8 01 2013
jeannedamoff

Thank you, Nancy. I can’t tell you how many times those words have helped center me. They aren’t scripture, but they convey such profound truth. Such a peaceful place to live.

8 01 2013
dukeslee

This:

“His love chooses well for me.”

Yes, not matter what: He love chooses well. I will need to remember this.

Happy New Year to a lovely woman, YOU.

8 01 2013
jeannedamoff

Thank you, Jennifer. You are always a blessing to me. Perhaps this will be the year our paths cross in person? Some day, for sure. Love to you, friend.

18 01 2013
dale-carroll-coleman

Jeanne,
Beautiful post. “God knows” trusting, peaceful words they are to my soul. Oh how Faithful He is to us… Even when we fear and struggle. I read your book cover to cover today, many tears fell on those pages. Pages of pain, grief, hope and restoration.
I am looking forward to meeting you in Wichita where you are speaking in Feb. I will be a breakout speaker, on testimony/story. I am new to this community, no only a few but love how God places us in one another’s paths, to encourage and build up.
Thank you Jeanne for sharing your gifts. I pray you receive boldly from your Father this year.

18 01 2013
jeannedamoff

Dale, thank you so much for reading the book and letting me know how it touched you. I’m deeply encouraged that God met you on the pages. And I really am so excited about the conference in February and all that God will do! May the Lord give you great peace and joy as you prepare to share. Can’t wait to meet you and hear your story!

Much love.

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