Gratitude & God’s Provision
God’s provision is such a wonderful, amazing thing! He provides for us whether we deserve it or not, whether we appreciate it or not, and even whether we know it or not!
Grateful for gratitude
I don’t know about you, but I really like it when I give my children gifts and they absolutely love what I’ve given them. And it’s even nicer when they are truly thankful for the gifts. It makes me feel great when they give me hugs and kisses or when they say a heart-felt “Thank you!” when they receive my gifts. There’s nothing nicer than being appreciated for doing something nice for someone.
But I often find myself wanting things I don’t have instead of being thankful for what God has provided for me. And when my children do the very same thing, it upsets me! I wonder how they could possibly be so selfish as to want things they don’t have when I’ve given them everything they need and many things they want. And then, without even recognizing it, I’m doing the very same thing!
Grateful for grace
But the wonderful thing is that God provides for us anyway. He doesn’t get angry and cut off our provision when we fail to thank Him. He doesn’t take away our provision when we don’t appreciate what He’s given us. He doesn’t even take it away when we’re ungrateful or when we fuss or complain wishing He’d given us something different!
One of my goals for this year is to start paying more attention to God’s provision in my life. I want to take the time to recognize it when He provides for me. I want to put forth the effort to thank Him when He provides for me. And I want to be grateful for whatever He provides without wishing for or wanting something different.
And to me, being thankful for God’s provision means being happy with what I have instead of always wanting more. In fact, my husband and my youngest child and I are getting ready to go on a mission trip to some very poor areas in Peru. This will be our third trip to Peru, and just like we’ve done the past couple of years, we’ll visit some areas where our team has previously ministered, and we’ll visit some places that will be new to us and some of which haven’t ever heard the Gospel message!
Grateful for the gospel!
As we visit these places, there’s one thing I notice more than anything else. In every single area where the people know Jesus, they have thankful hearts! Many of these people live in complete poverty, yet they trust God for His provision, and they are absolutely content with what He has provided for them. Many of these people literally live in huts made from whatever boards or pieces of tin they can find. They have no indoor plumbing, no running water, only one set of clothing to wear, and minimal food, yet they are joyful and happy people!
It’s so humbling to meet these people and see how happy and thankful they are when we have so much more than they do, yet we only see what we don’t have.
And that’s the difference the Gospel should make in our lives. We should strive to see all the times God provides for us each day. We should be thankful for His provision in our lives. Will He stop providing for us if we’re not thankful? No. He’ll still provide for us just like we provide for our children whether they’re thankful or deserving. But we will make His heart happy in the same way our hearts are happy when our children are thankful and when they recognize our provision for them. And that is reason enough for me.