Laurie Coombs is a passionate writer and speaker on the issues of forgiveness, redemption, and the hope found in Jesus. She is the author of Letters from My Father’s Murderer: A Journey of Forgiveness, an incredible true story of grace, mercy, and the redemptive power of God. Her story was featured in Billy Graham’s film, Heaven, as well as on many other national and regional radio and television programs. She is a contributor to Zondervan’s NIV Bible for Women and writes at LaurieCoombs.org. Laurie and her husband, Travis, make their home in Nevada along with their three daughters.
“I feel depleted,” I told my husband. “I feel like Elijah laying under that broom tree.” Travis looked at me curiously. I didn’t pray to die as Elijah had, of course, but I was spent. Why is my tank so empty? I questioned. What am I doing wrong?
I was serving, both my family and church, and was pursuing my calling. All good things, by my estimation––things I believed God was calling me to do, and so I was confused. Why am I so burnt out if I’m doing what I am supposed to be doing?
The answer came. I was doing it in my own strength. I needed to learn how to receive God’s strength and to allow His Spirit to empower me for the work I was called to. This was perhaps the first time I had become aware of my need to receive.
Learning to receive from God is important, for God is our source of all things. He is the source of our strength, our love, and our ability to do pretty much anything. But what we must also understand is that we are not to seek blessing from God solely for the sake of ourselves. We were created to be ambassadors for Christ. To bring the good news of the Gospel to this broken world. To be the hands and feet of Jesus. But we need to receive the Spirit of God in order to do the works God has set aside for us to do.
Kingdom work (or any other kind of work, for that matter) requires God’s grace as well as the many other blessings He offers us. But these blessings are not to be hoarded or kept for ourselves. We’re to be more of a hose than a pitcher, allowing the blessings bestowed upon us to flow through us to those around us. God blesses us so we can bless others.
In other words, we receive so we can give.