Sometimes I think, and really I make myself ponder, what do I have to be thankful for? Nothing I want is yet to be. I have so much hope. I have too many desires. I have needs that truly are needs. And I look, and I have nothing.
I pray, and I hope, and I strive to apply my faith. Yet many days pass, weeks follow and the months become years and these prayers (requests) lie unanswered. Sometimes, there are messages that my prayers have been answered. Sometimes, I manage to listen to that still voice and it says to me: “I have heard and answered your prayers.” And yet, I see nothing. There is no change. I still have my wants, I still possess same desires and my needs are still not met.
And 1 Chronicles 16:34 says: “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”
Hello? He is good and I have all of these needs and He doesn’t respond? Hey, where is the God of Luke 11:11-13, huh? I am asking so much, Father, and you are giving me nothing! And you say: Give thanks?
Sometimes, many times, I think like this. But now, today, yesterday… and I hope, tomorrow, I am thinking: What about the things I have not asked for and he gave to me? What about the fact that most of my life I have been blessed with health? Like it is rare for me to be sick. I realised by the time I was about fifteen/sixteen that everyone gets sick at home, gets to eat these specially prepared meals and gets to stay off house chores at one time or the other except me. Like what the heck!
And mischievous me came up with the idea to pretend to be ill one day. I just woke and said: “I’m going to act sick today.” And I pulled it off. I got my day off house chores, I got to eat specially prepared for-the-sick nsala soup (pepper soup) and I got to laze around like an overfed cat on my bed… naughty!
But I never thanked God, or thank God consciously for this gift of health. I just take it for granted.
How about the gift of my talent to write fiction? How much did I pay for that again? Oh, I remember, zero naira… or any other currency for that matter. And the fact that I was born with all of my limbs when some came out without any? And the fact that I still have my mother, sisters, nieces and nephews with me when other folks are suffering loss and grieving? What about the fact that I am married when many young, and getting older, women are waiting on the Lord for a life partner? How about the fact that this marriage gets better and better every single day and I get to hear so much on divorce on a daily basis?
How about the fact that I have followers on this blog and I can’t quite fathom what I did to earn and keep them?
Should I talk about the food I get to put into my stomach? The clothes that cover my naked form? The water I drink? The shelter that gives me a home when many sleep under the stars… and under the rains?
I just, right this very minute, saw a woman without hands (she has deformed hands) and her legs are somewhat deformed too but she uses her legs to do her makeup, answer her mobile phone, light up her kerosene stove and cook for herself. I just saw this on NTA. Right now!
How about that, huh?
So I don’t have all that I have asked for. So you don’t have all off your desires granted you. So you have to go through some hard times yet. So Nigeria is not the country that we want it to be yet. So the economic recession have you wishing you were anywhere else but here in Nigeria. So… what?
1 Thessalonians 5:18: “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Whatever our circumstances, whatever the state of this nation, God wants us to be thankful. He wants us thankful because there is still so much we are blessed with. There are nations at war, do we know that? There are children, women and men dying every day in some nations. We have troubles in Nigeria, yes. But we still have a peace that many envy. Let us be thankful for the war that God continues to avert.
I want to dare to be thankful. Let us dare to be thankful. Let us try it. Be thankful. Philippians 4:6: “Do not be anxious about anything. But in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” While we pray and we ask of God, we are expected to be thankful (joyful) as we wait in faith… for God is faithful and He will give us what we ask of Him. He will… at His own time.
Today, I ask us to stop looking at what we don’t have… yet. See that which you have been given (even when you did not ask for them) and be thankful. Gratitude usually opens the door of more blessings… let us try that key.
Y’all have a blessed weekend now.