“I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.” Psalm 34:1
My friend Frank Tanana, who pitched the Detroit Tigers into the American League Championship Series, has an interesting take on baseball fans. He pitched a stellar game against the Toronto Blue Jays to win the final game in the division playoff. His picture was front page and he was, hands down, the town hero in Detroit. But when his turn in the rotation put him on the mound in the ALCS, his performance was not so stellar, and the Tigers lost their chance to go to the World Series. I asked Frank how he handled being town hero one day and “tarred and feathered” a few days later. I’ll never forget his quick reply. He said, “I learned a long time ago that with baseball fans it’s ‘what have you done for me lately’ that counts!”
I’ve often thought about Frank’s answer when it comes to how we feel about God. Going to a small group meeting where everyone else is telling about how God has supplied for their needs and miraculously answered prayer can make a lot of us pretty grumpy about God because it seems like He doesn’t do much for us. We still have long-awaited, unanswered prayers on our lists and unfulfilled expectations that seemingly have gone unnoticed while He has been busy blessing others. But be careful. This kind of spiritual grumpiness will make you ungrateful, unworshipful, and ready for a major fall into the spiritual dumpster.
So, for all of us who tend to be out on God for His seeming lack of living up to our expectations, let me help you out of your grumpiness with a list of how wonderfully good He is to you every day.
- If He never does anything else but save your soul from hell and guarantee you an eternal home with Him in heaven, He has already done far more than you or I deserve and enough to keep us grateful to Him for the rest of our lives.
But thankfully there’s more . . .
- If it is true that He never leaves you nor forsakes you, then you have a lot to be thankful for (Hebrews 13:5).
- If you can be sure that His mercies are new to you every morning, then you can make it through the day as weak and frail as you are (Lamentations 3:22-24).
- If He guards our lives so that nothing comes in that is not ultimately for His glory and our good, then we are among the truly blessed ones (Romans 8:28).
- If, when you put your head on your pillow at the end of the day, you think He didn’t show up for you, think about all the things you don’t know that He kept from you which may have “done you in” had He permitted them (1 Corinthians 10:13).
- If He gave you His Word to guide, comfort, inspire, convict and assure you of His unfailing love and mercy, then you have enough to cancel your grumpiness and make you grateful (Psalm 119:97-103).
- And, since He is far more than we ever bargained for or deserved, we have the high privilege of demonstrating to our world that our God is worthy to be trusted, worshiped, adored and praised—regardless (Job 13:15)!
- So the next time you start wondering what He has done for you lately, check the list. There’s a lot to be thankful for! Which leaves only one more question: Is He wondering what you have done for Him lately?
- How does it make you feel when others talk about the great things God has done for them? Do you feel left out, or do you respond with a heart that is happy for them and grateful for what He has done for you?
- Take some time to look up the Scripture references listed above. It may just help you build a biblical perspective of gratitude for all the things God does for you on a continual basis!
- If you were to answer the question, “What have you done for God lately?” how would you respond? Think of something you can do for Him today as an expression of your love and gratitude for all He has done for you!