Giving Big Thanks for Little Things

Why is it that it’s easiest to pray when we face struggles? Do you face that same predicament? I have felt guilty of late that I don’t pray as much when things are going well in my life. I lose a little fervor…a little zeal. But I am trying to change that. Or perhaps I should say, that I am asking God to change that in me.

My Nissan Xterra has had some issues over the last 18 months. It’s my work vehicle and I use it a lot. So there’s no surprise that it requires extra TLC. Around three weeks ago it decided to stall on me while driving to a job. In moments like that, it is easy to drift to worst-case scenarios that include repairs amounting to thousands of dollars. It has generally been the story of my life when it comes to auto repairs. However, this time around was different. After a trip to the parts store, and literally a dozen prayers, it turned out to be a sensor that I was personally able to fix myself. This repair only cost me $60 and a couple hours of my time. I couldn’t have been more relieved. I found myself praying every time I was in the Xterra. Asking God that the repair would be the final solution and that nothing else would go wrong. Many of my jobs are early in the morning, before most of the community is stirring. So a breakdown could be extremely problematic. I would praise the Lord every successful trip I made without the check engine light coming on or the car stalling out. That, however, only lasted a week or so. After I became confident that the car was fixed, my praise and prayer moments decreased somewhat. And then, I felt the conviction.

I couldn’t believe what had happened. How could I allow myself to be so distracted? Why did I lose touch with the reality that I have so many reasons to praise God every moment of every day? Why do I seek Him more in times of distress or need? Aren’t I always in need of His good graces? Why don’t I give thanks more often for the little things in my life, which after thinking about it, many of those little things are actually great big things. We come to expect that our cars will start. We don’t give it a second thought that our hearts are going to continue beating. We rarely wake up and praise God that we have been given one more day. There are so many beautiful mercies that we are given all day and every day. Why do we let so many of them go by without a single word of thanks to the one who gave them to us. We all owe Him a big thanks even for the little things in life. But, a lot of the time, the prayers don’t come until those little things become big things in our eyes.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV

Peace in Christ brothers and sisters.

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Faith and Fruit

God will never allow our faithfulness to be fruitless. There is power in simply being available. We never know who we might notice when we aren’t busy looking at the to-do list for the day or hustling from one place to another.

It starts with making the next right choice; seeking to honor God in the mundane as well as in the extravagant. We also have to be willing to see the hurting people around us and then do what we can to meet their needs. It might be as simple as being a listening ear or shoulder to cry on. And because everyone is met with discouraging messages day in and day out, we should never underestimate the power of encouraging words.

If we love as followers of Christ are meant to, our world becomes a much bigger place. Full of life giving energy, empowered by the Holy Spirit. To have that we need to be open to dialogue, willing to pray for and over others, ready to share why we believe the things we believe, and looking for ways to lend a hand. We can know that every encouraging word, every prayer, every act of service, and every time we make time for others, will be used for other’s good and God’s glory.

Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit…” Who do you know that needs to hear they’re loved? Who could use a helping hand? Who needs to be noticed? Who needs to see Jesus?