My 10-year-old grandson got up from the dinner table, walked over to me and tapped my shoulder. "Nana, thank you. I love the noodles you made. But next time can you put a little less salt. I'll still eat them, but I'm just telling you for next time, OK?"
I gave him a tight hug. "So sorry," I said, "it's not what you expected."
His heart of gratitude touched me. He could have complained and refused to eat it, but he chose to thank me anyway and eat salty noodles.
That night, I put my head on the pillow of shame. Unlike my grandson, if I didn't receive from God what I expected, or not in my own timing, disappointment set in. And a sense of discouragement took the place of contentment.
Sadly, that discontentment is popular today. We have expectations and wait for God to serve the answer in the way we anticipate. And when that doesn't happen, we wonder why. We question our faith. And our once-complete trust in God isn't complete anymore.
But God sees the full picture, including our sense of disappointment. What He's looking for is our gratitude for even little things. He's expecting praises in everything. And He's more direct in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 when He says, "Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
Give thanks in all circumstances? Even when we're still in the same sorry situation, with no change for the better or with no solution, either? God says yes. Consider if these prominent folks in the Bible displayed discontentment.
What If ...
What if Abraham became disappointed when God asked him to sacrifice his son? He would have missed his calling to be the father of many nations.
What if Moses allowed his weakness to diminish his trust in God? He would have missed his role to be the instrument to set the Israelites free.
What if David focused only on the punishment for his sin and failed to praise God for His forgiveness and redemptive love? He would have remained a poor-me sinner relegated to obscurity.
And what if Noah would have succumbed to the ridicule of the people and stopped the building of the ark? He and his family would also have drowned.
What if fear and disappointment had filled Paul during the episodes where he was beaten, tossed out and imprisoned? He would not have seen the world around him turn to Jesus.
You and I are no different. God sometimes gives direction for our journey but doesn't reveal the reason for each stop. At times, God provides only small amounts of success to test our character. And sometimes, God brings about an answer contrary to what we asked, to test our trust in Him.
No matter how many plates of salty noodles the world serves you, the test is on. Will you praise Him for what God has done? Will you thank Him for what He's doing? And will you be bold enough to praise Him for what you know He will do?
If the answer is yes, then you'll find how miracles come wrapped in gratitude.
Father, I thank You for Your patience when I fail to trust in You completely. I praise You for forgiving me when I fail to thank You through all the stages of my journey. In Jesus' name.
What miracles will your gratitude bring?
Janet Perez Eckles is an international speaker and the author of four books. She has helped thousands conquer fear and bring back joy.
This article originally appeared at janetperezeckles.com.
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