God wants to give us good things. His gifts of grace, forgiveness, blessings and love are freely overflowing. All we need to do is ask, and we will receive. He's not a mean God, he doesn't even make us work for it. That's the amazing thing about Grace.
Sometimes it doesn't seem like we're getting anything though. We may be asking, but we think God isn't delivering, because we don't feel the love, our lives are still going downhill, or no prayers seem to be getting answered.
Sometimes we need to be patient and wait on God and his timing.
But sometimes, God is waiting for us. Waiting for us to realise he's answered, he is giving, but we aren't taking it. Sometimes our hands are so full of other things, things not from God that we have no room to receive what he is giving.
Almost a soon as we realise what it is we're holding on to that's taking up space, as soon as we let go of it and give it up, God's blessings can pour in.
A while ago, I was in a relationship that wasn't good for me. It wasn't going anywhere for a whole lot of reasons but I was afraid to let go of it because I feared being alone again. So I was clinging to it desperately, while asking God to help me with it. I thought he wasn't answering since nothing improved in the relationship.
God was answering, I just wasn't receiving. Until one day, I finally gave in to God's prompting and let go of the relationship. Not only did I feel almost instant peace, but it was just about the very next day that I met the man who is now my husband!
My hands were full of my own ideas for a relationship. As soon as I gave that up to God, he gave me the gift I needed. (My husband's name - Matthew - actually means 'Gift from God')
More recently I have been considering job changes. I have been a teacher for three years but have not been feeling satisfied with it. It's a scary thing to change careers, especially when the new career options are not nearly so secure or certain or comfortable.
But I felt God's promptings in my heart, and I finally made the decision to resign from my permanent, secure job even though I had no idea what next year would hold. I just felt like God wanted me to be available if something came up, and I knew I wouldn't have the flexibility to do that if I was in a permanent job.
Not long after I made this decision, but enough time for me to begin to worry and doubt, God provided. God gave, and I was free to receive because I had trusted him and let go. Now I am going to be the Christian Pastoral Support Worker (formerly known as Chaplain) at the High School I was previously teaching at. It's an exciting new role and something I can clearly see God in.
Over the last two days I attended training workshops for this job, and there I saw clearly many examples of people letting things go, freeing up their hands to receive God's gifts and plan.
One man's story stood out to me. He gave up his house and job in a much more prosperous position to move across the state to a tiny town and apply for the CPSW position at a school with only 7 children. Worlds away from what he was doing and much, much less secure and certain, he had the faith give up a life lived for himself for a life lived for God. I am excited to hear about the blessings I am sure are coming his way in whatever God has in store for him.
You may not need to give up everything in your life as you know it, it may just be small. It could be leaving one job, to be open to something more fulfilling. It could be letting go of a relationship to grow or find a new one. It could be letting go of bitterness or unforgiveness to receive healing for your heart.
But whatever you hear God asking you to let go of, you can be sure whatever he is waiting to give you is far more important and wonderful. We often hold onto things through fear. Fear of being alone, fear of not having enough money, fear of not being in control, fear or what others will think. It may not feel safe and secure or even comfortable sometimes, but you can be assured that God is Good! He does not send you out to do his plans then leave you there all alone to fend for yourself.
God is good.
Psalm 103: 5 He fills my life with good things.
John 1:16 From his abundance we have received one gracious blessing after another.