She breezed by me without a word or a glance. Or a thank you.
As Frances and I entered a local business today, I held the door for her and for a young lady, as mentioned above. Following Frances, the girl passed by me seemingly oblivious to my existence or my kind gesture. No problem. I didn't hold the door open for her thanks, or for any acknowledgement at all. Born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ do what we do for the glory of God and the blessing of others. We need no attention or expression of gratitude for any kindness we seek to bestow. "Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men" (Colossians 3:23). Still, the episode saddened me, for the young lady's sake rather than my own. Gratitude felt and expressed constitutes one of the most beautiful aspects of human experience, whether directed toward God or toward people. Something is missing in our hearts when we fail to give thanks, and something is missing from interactions when giving and receiving does not find its fruition in thanksgiving.
The incident caused me to consider my own omissions regarding gratitude, particularly as they relate to the Lord. How many gifts has He given, or protections has He provided for which I failed to offer thanks? Far too many is the answer. I have awoken to too many days when it took me far too long to get my bearings enough to express gratitude to our Heavenly Father. I have also often fallen asleep without expressing appreciation to Him for the blessings of the day. So, while I may wonder about the young lady, I need not wonder about myself. Sadly, I have too frequently breezed by the Lord, as it were, without a word or a glance. Or a thank You.
I shared this anecdote in a sermon today. As I mentioned the young lady's neglect, a pastor in the meeting exclaimed with a smile and a perfectly timed warning, "Watch out now!" He knew where I was going with the story. He remembered the account recorded in Matthew's Gospel of the servant forgiven for a monumental amount of money, but who subsequently wouldn't forgive a mere pittance owed by his debtor (Matthew 18:23-35). Indeed, whenever we are tempted to point the finger of blame toward another, we do well to look at our hand and see the so-called "Three Fingers of Truth" pointing back at us. The young lady didn't say thank you. I hope it was a mere oversight and expression of human weakness rather than an indication of something more spiritually serious. In my case, I have known better for nearly forty one years as a believer. But too often I have not said thank You to our Heavenly Father for obvious blessings of His heart and hand. That saddens me much more than the matter of the young lady. And it fortifies my determination n to be far more consistent in feeling and expressing gratitude toward God and people. Thank you. Two words that take less than a second to utter. When genuinely expressed by a believer's tongue, however, they reveal a heart illuminated by eternal realities and keenly aware of the origin of "every good gift and every perfect gift" (James 1:17).
"O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto Thee forever and ever!"
Weekly Memory Verse
Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken." (Proverbs 3:25-26).