A Sitting Ovation
September 7, 2011 | My Jottings
(From the archives…)
I’ve been thinking about thankfulness, and what it might mean to the Lord, and what effect it has on my life. When life is not going as expected, it sometimes takes an act of the will to be thankful, especially if you’re a person who usually sees the glass half-empty rather than half-full.
I am so very grateful for many things in my life. God has been good to me and I thank Him every day for the mercies and blessings He has poured out on my family. But I also know that when I’m overwhelmed or worried regarding one aspect of life, that lack of trust in Him unfortunately tends to overshadow the other areas that are going well. And then I find myself in a ditch, stuck and desperately needing to get back up on the road He has called me to.
A few years ago I was doing a Bible study with friends and the speaker talked about how she gives God standing ovations when He does something wonderful for her. She said she believes that if we make a big deal about something the Lord does for us, He might take note of our thankfulness and be apt to do something for us again. She also remarked on how when we give gifts, we’re so pleased when the recipient really likes what we’ve given and shows it, and how disappointing it is when we give to someone who shows little or no gratitude.
Well, I have been trying to hone my gratitude skills. A couple of days ago I learned something that made me experience a tiny shred of hope about something big I’m praying and trusting God for. It’s something that is absolutely impossible without God. In the natural, what I learned the other day wasn’t really all that huge, but I was not going to get caught being ungrateful. I had to run an errand right after this teensy bit of hopeful information came to me, and instead of just saying under my breath, “Thank you, Jesus” and letting it go at that, it occurred to me that maybe I could put a little more effort into my thanks for a change. That aforementioned Bible study came to my mind, and as I drove I began to clap my hands (mostly at stop signs and traffic lights) and thank God out loud for what He did. Pretty soon I was sobbing and applauding Him passionately and crying out to Him in praise and thanksgiving at the top of my lungs. I drove and clapped (carefully), steered and praised, crying out to Him for the longest time, that I had noticed! I saw the little thing that He did! I knew it was Him! And I was offering my best, loudest, most vigorous praise and thanks that I could give. I was truly overtaken with gratitude and wanted my Father to know it.
Now, I’m not entirely comfortable with really wild and loud public displays of praise and worship. I know this is my problem and I do not judge others who are free to express their feelings for the Lord in ways I probably never will. But by myself in the car the other day, I felt completely overcome with the desire to make a big deal out of even the (seemingly) smallest answer to prayer, and didn’t care a whit who might have seen me. I wanted the Lord to know how thankful I am for His help and love in my life and in the lives of those so close to my heart.
Psalm 47:1 – Oh clap your hands, all ye peoples; Shout unto God with the voice of triumph!
I’m assuming that anyone reading this blog post is sitting at their computer. For what or whom can you give God a sitting ovation today? Do you dare clap your hands in gratitude for anything He’s done for you or given to you? How about for drinking water? Clap your hands! For healthy children? Clap your hands! Do you have one friend? Clap your hands all you people!
What do you thank Him for today? And tell us, did you really clap your hands?