Learning to receive makes you a better giver

If this is your first time here I hope you will take the time to read previous blog posts or visit www.caringbridge.com/visit/michaelguthrie to learn about this blog came to be.

There are two streams of thought that I hope I can merge into one river of encouragement for those who have chosen to follow or happen upon this blog. First, I am learning that my guillain barre syndrome health challenge has become a blessing in my life. This experience has strengthened my faith. Joseph in the Old Testament was faced with one trial after another but time after time acknowledged, “The Lord was with me” I did while in the hospital and rehab and continue to experience His presence in my life. Genesis 50:20 paraphrased 🙂 “GBS intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the opportunity to encourage others” John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” The troubles I have gone through have given me a platform to inspire and lead others through whatever it is they are going through. Donald Miller talks about “transitioning from being the hero/inspiration in your story to becoming the guide for others to be heroes in their own stories.” If you were going on a hike or a fishing/hunting trip in some remote area, wouldn’t you want a guide who has been in that location many times before? My back story is being knocked down but not knocked out by my auto immune system going haywire. This meaningful journey through adversity and how I have been able to handle it, has enabled me to help others find their way through as well. Without my faith in God and having so many people offering their help, this would not have been possible which leads me to the second stream of thought. 🙂

I have always been motivated by the thought, “it is better to give than to receive” I hated the fact that I was selfish and still find it distasteful when it raises up in me even now. Christmas always brought this ugly trait out into the forefront. I would sit and watch others open their wonderful gifts but instead of being happy for my brothers, sisters, or my friends, I would always compare what I got and did it measure up to what others got. Focusing on others with a “How can I serve them” mentality diminishes my selfishness along with staying attuned to how blessed I am. I have so much for which to be thankful. Watching people time and time step up to help us in whatever way we needed has allowed me to see how many people really care about us. While not being able to move I was totally dependant on others and as I continue to work hard in hope of a full recovery, people continue to offer their assistance. My point is I now have a new understanding for “It is better to give than receive”. I now know what it feels like to have people visit you when you are sick or in the hospital. Dottie and I have both been recipients of so many acts of kindness that have buoyed us up over these last 9 months so we would not slip into discouragement. They have acted as examples of how to love others well. They have been the guides that God brought to us on our road to recovery at just the right times. We are indeed thankful for all things and it is the reason I call myself blessed. Everyone needs to be reminded that “The Lord is with them” My hope is you will be encouraged to go out and be that reminded for someone you know could use a helping hand.

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