DayBreaks for 2/28/19: An Unspoken Thanks
From the DayBreaks archive February 2009:
I’ve been struck recently by the amount of ingratitude in my life. I don’t think that I’m alone, but I don’t wish to project my shortcomings on to any of you. All the hype on the news about how awful things are have created in many of us a sense of “Yep, it’s terrible. Things are worse than they’ve ever been and I see no hope that things will be better.” And, we tend to be so down-in-the-mouth and dispirited that we ignore an entire panoply of blessings each day.
In his book, The Holy Wild, Mark Buchanan was musing on the faithfulness of God. It’s a topic that we don’t often ponder, for good reason: faithfulness is about as boring as a 1978 Buick that just keeps on running and refuses to just quit. Someone who has an old car might see someone driving a new, shiny, sporty vehicle. The owner of the flashy car may say to the old Buick owner, “Why are you still driving that thing? You were driving that when we last saw each other 10 years ago!” to which the Buick owner replies, “Yeah, but it’s faithful.” In other words, it keeps on working. Or, to put a slightly different spin on it, “Yeah, it’s as boring as all get out, but it just keeps working.”
You see, faithfulness is boring. We come to expect faithfulness after a while because something (a person, car, pet, etc.) is always there, always does what it is supposed to do. We presume faithfulness and are shocked when it doesn’t happen.
The same is true with God. We know in our heads that God has promised to be faithful – and we believe it – at least at some level. But that’s dangerous because it means we take Him and what He does for granted. In Buchanan’s book, he ponders the wonder of leaves. Leaves when they are dry are very fragile, yet just the other day, I was sitting in a restaurant with my wife and sister and her kids, and it was windy and raining outside, but I looked outside and saw a dried leaf clinging to a branch. Leaves can even cling to trees through a hurricane or tornado. But when they’re dry, they are so very fragile. Leaves give us shelter from the blazing summer sun, they provide food for animals and people, they drink down the poison of carbon dioxide and give us back life-giving oxygen in exchange. Each spring, leaves appear on trees all over the world by the trillions or quadrillions (who knows how many leaves God creates each spring?!??!) And my guess is that not one time in your life, have you ever had to ask God to put leaves on trees in the spring. And I’d also be willing to bet that not once have you stopped to give Him thanks for those leaves that give you life. I haven’t.
Leaves and their ilk are signs, reminders if you will, of God’s faithfulness. When something in your life gets you down and discourages you, when you are tempted to feel that God has failed and let you down, stop and ponder a leaf or two – and remember that they are reminders of God’s faithfulness – even when we fail to give Him thanks for such simple things.
Hebrews 12:28 (NASB) – Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe… We have received citizenship in a kingdom which we don’t deserve. We have much, even this very moment, that calls out to us to give Him thanksgiving.
Prayer: Father, thank You for making leaves! Thank You for making us! Thank You for all good things! In Jesus’ name, Amen
Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>