Today’s Musing is from Margaret Fowler.

Freely ye have received, freely give. —Matthew 10:8b KJV

We all experience giving and receiving over and over in our lives. It is a joy to give—and a different kind of joy to receive. Both need to be done in the right spirit, giving freely and generously and receiving graciously.

I remember an incident in a nursing home. One of the ladies suddenly said to me, “I want to give you this flower.” “Oh, no,” I said, “I don’t want to take it from you.” She had so little, and I had so much. She insisted that she wanted me to take it, and I finally got it through my thick head, that I should just accept it. And then you should have seen the joy that spread across her face!

I suddenly realized that she was on the receiving end of everything: nursing care, her meals … so many people helping her in so many ways. How happy it made her to be able to give! I thanked her and showed appreciation, and I think it made her day.

As a child I learned about receiving and discovered the importance of being thankful. At Christmas I delighted in gifts, the new toys and books. And then it was time to put my thanks in writing. My mother was a dear, sweet lady, but very insistent on “proper” thanks. Oh! Those thank-you notes! A typical conversation went something like this: “It’s time to write your thank-you letters.” “But I don’t want to write letters.” And then in her typical British way, my mother would reply, “Well, you’re jolly well going to write those letters. Now sit down and write.” And so, I did! Was I receiving with grace? Definitely not!

Of course, I have learned over the years that sincerely showing thanks is very important. My mother spent the last five years of her life in a nursing home, and she always thanked the nurses and caregivers with her lovely smile. She demonstrated every day how to receive with grace. And now I truly am happy to write thank-you notes, hoping they will bring joy to those who gave.

Our lives are filled with opportunities to show a spirit of thankfulness, and it brings a smile, when that giving is appreciated. The young man who bags my groceries, looking bored and tired, smiles when I say thank you. The tired, young mother, juggling children and a shopping cart is grateful if I offer her the next place in line. Supermarkets are full of opportunities like that.

Ten lepers came to Jesus asking for mercy, for healing, and Jesus healed them all. Only one returned to thank Him, falling at His feet in sincere gratitude for his healing. And Jesus commended him. Jesus expects us to receive with gratitude and thankfulness.

I think of all the hundreds of gifts our Lord gives us every day—our lives, our health, our homes, our families, our salvation, our promise of eternal life with Him. Let us receive His gifts with grace, thanking Him with grateful hearts for everything.

Receive with grace.

The words of a well-known hymn remind us:

Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given
Jesus Christ, His Son.
(Lyrics by Henry Smith)

Margaret is Sharon’s Mum. She and her husband have had 66 years of marriage and four children. They enjoy hiking, biking, canoeing, and just being outdoors, watching wildlife. Margaret plays the piano as part of a nursing home ministry. She has written many articles for her church newsletter, and some of these have been compiled into a book, Holding My Father’s Hand, available on Amazon.


Saved by grace,
Margaret Fowler



Sweet Selah Ministries

To inspire a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth of God’s Word that stillness and knowing
Him matter most—and will be reflected in more effective work and service

To offer biblical resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)

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