For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Friend to Friend
A friend told me of sitting with his father discussing the distribution of his “worldly goods,” when the time came to do so. “My dad had very little joy in his life,” Mike explained. “As we sat there discussing who was going to get what when he died, I saw a pride in him I had never noticed before. ‘I did all this,’ he said as he waved his hand around the room like Vanna White. ‘I worked hard and earned it all.’”
“In his mind, he had earned it; he had done it all. Never once did he give thanks to God for all his blessings or acknowledge God’s goodness. There was no gratitude, no thanksgiving, and certainly no joy. His things had become shiny shackles that kept joy at bay all his life. His things. How sad.”
As Mike told me the story, I thought of Henry War Beecher’s words: “Pride slays thanksgiving…a proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves.” Eyes shut tight to God’s glory.
I am reminded of an old saying that stirs and stings: “Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” Always enough. Jesus thanked God for the two loaves and five fish…and there was more than enough to go around (John 6:1-13).
Gratitude can change your perspective on the simplest of mundane tasks and transform them into moments of sudden glory. One day I was mopping the kitchen floor and my mood was anything but grateful. I grumbled with each push of the mop. Complained with each dip in the bucket.
Here I am mopping this floor again and no one even appreciates it. I feel like this housework is never finished. Clean today. Dirty tomorrow. Why do I even bother?
Then right in the middle of the kitchen, God showed up. Actually, He was there all along, but my grumbling blinded the eyes of my heart to recognize His presence. New thoughts began to emerge as I pushed the mop across the linoleum floor. I believe God put them there.
Suppose you were blind and you couldn’t see the beautiful patterns on the linoleum floor or the spilled juice by the refrigerator door. Suppose you were deaf and you couldn’t hear the soothing sound of the soap bubbles dissolving in the scrub bucket or the rhythmic sound of the mop being pushed back and forth across the floor’s hard surface. Suppose you were in a wheel chair and you weren’t strong enough to stand upright and grasp the wooden handle in your nimble hands to erase the muddy footprints and make the floor shiny and clean again. Suppose you didn’t have a home or a family to clean up after.
Suddenly, my grumbling turned into a song of praise and gratitude. “Thank You, Lord, for the privilege of mopping this dirty floor. Thank You for the health and strength to hold this mop in my strong hands and to wrap my agile fingers around its handle. Thank You for the sight to see the crumbs, the dirt, and the spilled juice. Thank You for the sense of smell to enjoy the clean fresh scent of the soap in my bucket. Thank You for the many precious feet that will walk through this room and dirty it all up again. And Lord, thank You for the privilege of having a floor to mop and a family to clean up after.
Lord, the words of Romans one strike me to the core. May I never forget to give thanks to You. Everything I have is because of Your grace in my life. Forgive me when I complain. Forgive me when I am discontent. Thank You for Your many blessings.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Read Romans chapter one today.
The words of Romans chapter one are daunting. They reflect our culture in so many ways. And while it is easy to point out all the ways that “other people” fit into some of the less desirable categories being described, these words are right there among them: For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him.
What does that tell you about how important it is to thank God?
Thank God for all the ways that He has blessed you today.
More from the Girlfriends
Do you long for something more in your relationship with God? Do you have a “glory ache” – a hunger to experience God’s presence on a daily basis? The good news is that God wants that even more than you do. Right smack dab in the spin of the laundry and the sizzle of the bacon – as you live and move and have your being in Him. This summer, take some time to “be still and know”—to hear His still small voice – to dust for His fingerprints on the pages of your everyday life. My book, A Sudden Glory: God’s Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More will show you how. It also includes a study guide and free online Bible study videos.