By: Jon Meerdink
I have a prayer request for you. Will you thank God on my behalf today? Will you praise him for what he’s done in my life?
If you did, I’d be truly thankful, because I feel like I need to bring in extra support if I’m going to thank God properly. I’m incredibly thankful that I have a job, a place to live, a car that runs, and tons of food to eat. I’m thankful that the weather is awesome and that the sun keeps shining. I’m thankful that my cells keep producing the energy that keeps me alive so I can run and play basketball and work. I’m thankful for silly meaningless things, like butterflies and grass and the fact that the sky is blue. And above all, I’m thankful that God was so grieved by my sin problem that he took it upon himself to fix the issue in person.
And above all, I’m thankful that God was so grieved by my sin problem that he took it upon himself to fix the issue in person.
I have to admit, if one of my friends called me on the phone today and solemnly said “Jon, there’s something I need you to pray about,” I’d probably be taken slightly aback, but I’d be willing to listen to whatever they had to say. However, I’d probably be even more shocked if that friend continued on with a request much like the one I wrote in the last paragraph. How often does someone go out of their way to ask for help in praising God for what he’s constantly doing?
Even though I’ve been a Christian for a relatively long time, I can’t say that any prayer meeting I’ve ever been to has ever had to cut prayer requests short because of too many people praising God. I don’t mean to diminish the importance of the other requests, but if your Bible studies are like mine, the praises don’t come out until after everyone has wracked their brains trying to remember if their third cousin’s aunt has cancer or not.
As Christian people in the wealthiest, most affluent nation in the world, we should have no shortage of things to thank God for. Today it occurred to me that if I stopped going to work tomorrow, it would be several months before I had to even consider making a financial sacrifice of any kind. I’m in no danger of running out of things to eat or wear or do, but I’ve become so accustomed to things being this way that I think I lose sight of the reality of how amazingly blessed I am.
Author G.K. Chesterton once made a great point about the creativity of God. In his book Orthodoxy, he says “Perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning ‘do it again’ to the sun; and every evening ‘do it again’ to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them.”
I realize that there’s a big difference between God and human beings, but I think Chesterton is on to something here. If it’s possible for God, an eternal being who has witnessed every moment of every day since the beginning of time, to continue to make daisies the same way he’s always made them just because he likes them that way, do you think it’s reasonable for us to at least take some time to say thank you?
If so, maybe the next time you go to pray, take a second before you start and look around you. There’s a good chance you can find something, no matter how small, to thank and praise God for.