My four-year-old came in the kitchen the other day, clutching a fistful of dandelions she had picked from our yard. “Mommy! Look at the pretty flowers I brought you!” she exclaimed. I did my very best to muster up enthusiasm. I thanked her, gave her a hug for being so sweet and thoughtful, and even found a small vase to display the treasures in. The arrangement was set proudly in the middle of our dining room table and became our centerpiece for the next few days.
Although I did my best to show enthusiasm and gratitude for the gift, I was inwardly groaning. Weeds decorating my table? Couldn’t she have at least picked some of the pretty daffodils or wild daisies that also grow in our yard? But my daughter didn’t know they were weeds. To her, they were beautiful, cheery yellow flowers that she wanted to share with her mom.
How many times have I looked at something the Lord has given me and failed to appreciate the beauty of the gift? How many times have I complained? Even when I’m careful not to complain outwardly, I often do so inwardly.
I’m one of those people who needs a clean kitchen floor in order to feel like my house is clean. When my husband and I were expecting our first child, we lived in a rented duplex. I hated the floors. The linoleum in the kitchen was scratched and damaged so that it never looked clean no matter how hard I scrubbed. Instead of thanking the Lord for His good provision for my family, I often inwardly grumbled about that kitchen floor.
The Isrealites did a similar thing. God had miraculously provided them with manna in the wilderness, but they complained about His gift. They were tired of it. It wasn’t as flavorful as the food they ate in Egypt. Their lack of gratitude resulted in God’s judgment.
The Bible assures us in James 1:17 that every gift that the Lord gives us is good and perfect. There’s nothing wrong with the gifts themselves—He only gives us the best things, the things that we need the most—but sometimes there’s a problem within our own hearts. We’re not satisfied with His provision. We covet other things—more stylish clothing, newer furniture, better coffee.
I’m going to take some time this week to think about the good things the Lord has blessed me with. Will you join me? Let’s thank Him for every gift He has given us.
What will you thank Him for today?