November 27, 2009

  • So what have you done for me lately?

    It struck me that this tends to be my attitude toward the LORD and His myriad blessings to me over my life.

    Yes, that was/is all very nice, but what about now?  You took away my husband and father, so what am I supposed to be grateful for?  They were here with me and now they're not.  ISTM You owe me.

    Ouch.  I hate it when I find that mind-and-heart-set lurking inside me.  May as well change my name to "Faithless Israel", considering how I can do a really spiffy imitation of it.  The LORD does great things for me, then I forget about them when something goes wrong, instead focusing on what I don't have that I want.  This is what Israel did over and over, of course.  Things go well, the people wander away from God, He simultaneously rebukes them and reminds them of His past blessings.

    Yeah, but what have You done for us lately?  Here we are, stuck in the desert and munching on manna.  We want water.  We want meat.  We want to go back to Egypt.  Whine, whine, whine.

    The LORD wants us to keep His past blessings in the front of our minds, whether it's parting the Red Sea so the Israelites could cross it safely, or providing manna, or giving us loving parents and a stable home, a wonderful marriage, living in a country not being bombed regularly, etc. etc. 

    Ingratitude is a basic element of our sin nature.  To concentrate on what we don't feel badly treated if a blessing given is afterward taken brood on what others have been given...all are outward symptoms of an ungrateful heart toward our Creator.

    This has been one of my spiritual endeavors, i.e. to have a heart of gratitude and praise toward the LORD, even when circumstances aren't what I'd choose.  How can I possibly justify being in any way ungrateful and discontented?  I met my beloved when we were both 17, and married shortly after we turned 20, then enjoyed 37 happy years together, and have six wonderful children as well as many precious grandchildren.  A marvelously devoted father and mother who spared no effort on their children's behalf.  Siblings.  Enough to eat, and clothes, and vacations, and college, and...and...and...

    Most important, naturally, has been the privilege of knowing Christ.  This is what David and Paul expressed so beautifully in the first's psalms and the latter's letters to regional churches and Timothy, that knowing the LORD is the most valuable blessing of all, trumping all others. So long as they had Him, they lacked nothing.

    Dear LORD, give me a heart like theirs, full of constant gratitude and praise. 

Comments (2)

  • Amen. I too struggle with this mind set, my mind knows that there is much to be grateful for but my heart is struggling with the immediate conditions of my life. I will continue to lift you up in prayer my dear sister.

  • That's a wonderful confession of what makes Christ's death and resurrection soooo necessary!  The people in the Old Testament and during Jesus's earthly ministry were constantly making sacrifices and creating traditions as means to redeeming their relationship with God because of the very struggle you confessed to and that we all struggle with.  Jesus died and rose as the perfect sacrifice, thus perfecting our relationship with the Father.  Isn't it fantastic?  He knew, He knew, He knew that we would never stop rebelling, so He took our place on the cross.  We can live with confidence that God sees only Jesus and His perfection when He sees those who have placed their faith in the One who died on all of our behalf.  What a wonderful Savior!

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