A little story time?
I am the kind of person who is generous when it comes to honest praising and would give compliments whenever I feel inclined to do so. Not only to boost their self-esteem but also to bring about some positivity and a sense of gratitude and appreciation towards God for their life.
In the past week, I’ve complimented two people and it was intriguing to see their responses.
One was a street juice vendor. It was a hot summer afternoon, and I really needed a nice cool drink. On my way I came across this juice vendor round the corner of the street. I asked him to make musambi juice for me. He did and it tasted great, with the right amount of sugar and a pinch of salt. Perfect for a hot afternoon. While I was paying him for it, I complimented him, “Hey, the juice was really good. Nicely made! Thanks.” His eyes seemed to lit up and he gave me a broad smile. It made me happy to see that he accepted the compliment with full gratitude.
The following day I was texting a friend after a long time, a highly accomplished person in his field, who is praised quite often and with the flow of the conversation I complimented him on his persona. Well, I didn’t really see an immediate response. He did reply after a few days saying thanks but it was in this gap that my thoughts just swayed back, comparing the juice vendor’s response to this adept person’s response to a mere gesture of compliments.
I could see this from a different perspective. Here was a man who is rarely complimented on his work and barely gets tips. On the other hand, there is this proficient person, with many people around him showering him with praises every now and then. What amused me is the stark difference in their responses.
I’d like to add in here that with the juice vendor, it was his work that I commended and for the other, it was his work as well his persona. If you can tell, that’s a higher degree of praise for the latter when compared.
It was strange how the juice vendor was really happy in his response but the other seemed to have gotten accustomed to getting praised and it didn’t seem as a big deal for him.
What did I perceive out of it?
I think it’s the same with God and us. As an analogy, compliments can be understood as the gifts God gives us, His provision for our lives. He is the giver and we are the receivers.So what is our response to His gifts? To the one who barely received, was joyous on getting the little that he got. To the other who has gotten used to God giving him every now and then, that he now barely sees it as a gift. He may start to no longer feel thankful for it.
Are we taking things for granted? There are so many gifts that God is showering upon us daily, that over time we may start to forget that it’s purely God’s provision.
You’ve been praying for something, after a while God has granted you that, you are overly grateful to Him and now you get to experience that gift every day! Are you thankful for it or have you forgotten that it’s a gift from God?
We all want good things in life. We pray to God to grant every request that we make to Him, for every need to be met. We live with expectations from God to give us what we want. If you are someone like me, you would wake up each day expecting something from God, something good, something you want, and something you think might change your circumstances. And we keep waiting and waiting and somewhere down the line you start to think – Is God even answering?
But what we fail to see while focusing on the bigger picture is how much God is blessing us, showering us with gifts every single day which we are taking for granted and not expressing our gratitude towards him, all in view of the gift that you asked and wanted which has not yet been answered by Him.
Have you got shoes for your feet? Got clothes to wear? Got shelter over your head? Got food on your table? When you leave home for work, who protects you from accidents while you commute? Who protects your house while you’re away? Who gave you the skill to do the job that you are doing? To get the pay that you are getting, big or small. Who sustains your life to see a new day every morning? If we were to really sit down and think about it, the list would go on.
While we might be waiting for God to give us something we have been ardently praying for, let’s not forget to thank the Lord for all the gracious gifts He has given us, most of which were given without even asking Him for ‘em.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with THANKSGIVING, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6 NIV
I’m sure that when we are filled with a heart of gratitude, thanking Him for the all that we are blessed with, it would definitely make the Giver happy just as I had felt happy when the juice vendor accepted the compliment with a grateful heart.
In the Bible, David, the King, himself came to this understanding and expressed it thus:
“Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me.” Psalms 103:2 NLT
Let’s have a heart of thanksgiving while we continue to wait upon the Lord for our prayer needs to be answered, let’s not be unmindful of His hand of providence over our lives, forgetting not a single blessing. 🙂
Prayer: Lord, please forgive me for taking for granted all the good things that you keep doing for me in your love. I’m forever grateful to you as I count every blessing in my life, small and great alike. I thank you Lord for your mercies and blessings that are new each and every day. And I trust you for my every need, that you will provide for me at your right time. Thank you, Jesus.
Good day! 🙂