Week 3: Engaging True Connection
Day 16: The Power of Receiving Well
There are times my husband tries to connect with me and I don’t receive it. I might be tired or grouchy or absorbed in my phone or absorbed in kids’ needs, but whatever the reason, I don’t respond when he reaches out. We are all human and cannot expect each other to respond 100% of the time. But if I never respond to his attempts to connect, he will stop trying. And rightfully so.
Some people say, “I can’t connect right now, we are running late and dinner doesn’t make itself.” I get that. (Oh, I get that!) But really – how long does it take to return a kiss… or a smile? Ten seconds? Thirty seconds?
When I don’t push the “pause” button on my activity for even ten seconds, I send the message, “What I am doing right now is more important than acknowledging you.” Ouch. That is not the message we intend or even consciously believe, but that is the message we send.
When we pause for even ten seconds to acknowledge the engagement, we send the message, “You matter to me and this is important.” I may not be in a position to spend a long interaction with the other person, but I can at least acknowledge their attempts.
As I have reflected on this concept of receiving, God has taught me this one main thing:
My ability to receive has much less to do with time and circumstance than it has to do with my inner world at that moment.
When I am stressed or my mind is in another place, it is much harder for me to receive well. When I am relaxed and grateful, I can receive with openness and freedom. For me, this an inner issue that nothing externally can change.
God is actually trying to engage with us all the time. Do we perceive it? Are we receiving it? Sometimes He does this in very loud, obvious ways. Sometimes, it is in the still small whisper. And again, I find the same principle applies: My ability to perceive God’s voice has much less to do with time and circumstances than it has to do with my inner world.
When I don’t respond to my husband’s attempts to engage me on a consistent basis, he likely will stop trying. But God never stops trying to engage us. He will never get discouraged or give up on us – He is always sending us messages of “I see you and I love you”.
Jeremiah 31:3 The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.
Psalm 32:7 You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.
Isaiah 65:1 I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.’
Challenge for Today: How can we respond well when our loved ones attempt to engage us? How can we respond well when God attempts to engage us?
Author: Janet Hoyt