How many times have you stopped and given thanks to God for life circumstances that are pleasant, days that are productive and relationships which are strong. God is there and He is at work in our lives, bringing good things to pass, but we just don’t stop and praise Him.
We all know we should, but most of us don’t.
In W. Bingham Hunter’s chapter on prayer for the grateful soul, he pinpoints three reasons why we neglect to thank God. We will discuss one of those reasons today.
At the risk of revealing too much of my simple joy, I am going to use my current recovery from my broken pelvis to illustrate common reasons for lack of thankfulness.
The first reason certainly relates to how much I can do right now. The fact of the matter is I can’t do as much as I have done in the past. I am recovering from my accident and I am experiencing a lot of happiness about basic things in life that I once took for granted. After three months of sitting and walking with a walker, I am walking again. While I was struggling with basic mobility, I had to depend on my wife for so much. A single example is she brought me coffee in the morning [she had done so much more]. I could not get up and make coffee myself. I could not sleep well at night since I led such an inactive life. I struggled to get in and out of bed, put on socks, and go to the bathroom.
Now after getting a positive report from my surgeon, I can do some of these basic things. Every morning when I walk to the kitchen and start the coffee pot, I want to shout hallelujah! I sit in bed in the morning sipping my own coffee and I pray fervent prayers of thankfulness to God for what He has allowed me to do. I pray thanks that my increased activity is leading to restful sleep at night.
I am writing about this in this post but truthfully, my enthusiasm is curbed around loved ones and friends.
Most people I have talked to about my rediscovered skills seem to share my joy but most people are where I was before my accident. They do a lot in life and naturally, they take most of what they do for granted. That is exactly what I did before my fall. Life is fast-paced and there is very little time to slow down; most the time we are struggling just to stay caught up. We lose our awareness of the wonderful things that we are allowed to do, thanks to God our Father.
When you lose your basic abilities to live life and then you have lots of time to think about what you once had, that’s when you appreciate. That’s when you long to do what you once did; you miss the simple things of life.
Most people don’t want to hear about such mundane things like being able to put on your socks. We want to hear about more exciting stuff like what’s going on in the news, plans for an upcoming purchase, or maybe plans for an upcoming trip. The joy of putting on socks just can’t compete with what is going on in most people’s lives. Everyday activity is glossed over; most don’t want to hear the sock report or the number of times someone has successfully maneuvered to the bathroom.
As I am recovering, I have been honored to run with a new crowd of people since my accident. I spend time now with people who have suffered debilitating injuries. I see them at the rehabilitation facility where I exercise. Most people have injuries which are worse than mine. Many people I am around now are older than me and they struggle more than I ever did. Do you think I am going to shout hallelujah; I did five hundred bicycle kicks in the therapy pool? I feel like it but I suppress my joy out of respect for those around me. I teach Sunday School at my church and one of the members and a good friend is battling stage four colon cancer. I have thoughts about her struggles all the time. I don’t want to share my victories in recovery with someone who suffers so much, someone who is going through a much darker time than I did.
When we have moments when we need to thank God, those moments are good. God deserves our thanks. First Peter 5: 6-7, 9 says “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you….Your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” Jesus is there for us with His grace in our time of need.
He is there for us 24/7. He is there in the “large things” of life…
And the small…