How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it. Luke 13:34
Jesus is speaking here to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Lamenting the fact that they would not receive Him. It’s hard to imagine and yet, too often, I think that the inability to receive still keeps Jesus at arms lengths.
A giver, no matter how unlimited his resources can only give what the receiver can and will take in. Most children are good receivers. Offer children a treat and see how many turn it down. Address their need – a hug, a band-aid, a glass of water and see how many turn that down. Some, for sure, but most will receive the offering. Ask a kid what they want for Christmas and their list is endless. Ask an adult the same question and most often you will hear, “oh, you don’t need to get me anything”. Sounds so mature, doesn’t it? Yet, the problem with that is that refusing to receive robs the giver of the joy of giving. It may be better to give than to receive, but giving requires receivers.
It seems our ability to receive drops drastically as we age. Offer a hundred dollars to your friends just because and see how many turn it down. A kid wouldn’t do that. Odds are, they would ask for more! Maybe that’s part of what Jesus meant when He said we need to humble ourselves and become like little children. They are great receivers.
I think it grieved Jesus’ heart when Jerusalem refused to receive Him. I believe it grieves His heart when we refuse to receive Him and all that He paid for us to have. Our healing was paid for and it was extremely expensive for Jesus but totally free for us. We need to come to a place in our faith where we do not limit the Limitless One and become willing to humble ourselves as a child to receive what He so freely offers.
Jesus, when I think of the price You paid so freely for me to walk in health – spiritually, physically, emotionally, relationally – I am humbled. To say thank you seems so small, but I don’t have bigger words. Forgive me please for the times I have limited You and have not been able to receive what You are so willing to give. Grant me the grace to humble myself as a child and eagerly take the gift You extend to me. Amen.