Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Gratefulness

“Sing to the Lord with grateful praise; make music to our God on the harp. He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills.

He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call. His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of the warrior; the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” (Psalm 147:7-11 NIV)

There is an old saying, “Desperate times call for desperate measures.” If we pay close attention, we will see that lived out in small ways on a regular basis. On campus, I see it with students desperate to complete an assignment or in need of a reference messaging me or others to acquire what they need. Others frantically email a professor asking for extra time to turn in an assignment.

In the world at-large, we often desperately need people to help us out in a crisis—a doctor, a plumber, someone with money or a car, or someone with knowledge who can help us out of a dilemma. When we have a desperate need, we will do whatever, use whomever, we need to fulfill it. That is just human nature. 

The problem lies when we make use of people, but with little or no gratitude for what they provide beyond the moment when our need is fulfilled. Like children, often we are much more grateful for our need being met than for those who meet it. I once knew a young woman who despised her adoptive father, but who often sought him out when she was in need. She was grateful for having her needs met by him, but was not grateful for him.

There are many stories in the Bible of people who are grateful for their needs being met but who lack appreciation for the person responsible. Joseph interpreted a dream for the king’s cupbearer while in prison, but once released, the man forgot about him (Genesis 40:23). The Israelites many times were glad when their burdens were lifted, but quickly retreated into complaining to Moses about their next plight (Numbers 14:2-4). When Jesus healed the ten lepers, nine of them went on their way without expressing any gratitude to the Lord for their healing (Luke 17:11-19).  The lesson is it is natural to be grateful for our own satisfaction, but easy to forget the ones who supply it.

What about you? Are you grateful for the people who have supplied the many needs in your life? If so, have you made that known to them? And what about the Lord, who is the ultimate supplier of all our needs? Do you regularly acknowledge your gratefulness to Him for all that He has given you and continues to give? 

Today, be grateful for the people who sacrifice for you and get into the habit of freely expressing it. And always be grateful to the Lord, for all that you have comes from His hands.

© Jim Musser 2018

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