Stop Lights and God's Grace
This morning I found myself stuck in morning rush-hour traffic. It was a frustrating place to be, as I had a lot to do, and not enough time to get it done. Each time the light turned green, I had renewed hope that I would make it through the intersection, and each time, I found myself disappointed. After several rounds of this, I ended up two cars back from the traffic light - confident that I would make it through in the next round. The light turned green, and as I began to inch forward, I noticed the guy in the lane next to me motioning that he would like to move into my lane. His lane wasn't moving, so I could understand his desire to switch, and so I stopped my vehicle to make room for him to move in. He did so, but then had to stop for a pedestrian. The result was that the traffic light turned yellow, and we still weren't through the intersection. Then, at the last moment, the car in front me sped through the intersection and was gone - leaving me sitting at the same intersection, still waiting to get through.
As I sat there, I could feel my frustration level begin to rise. But the interesting thing is that I wasn't frustrated at being stuck in traffic, I was frustrated that I had let this guy in my lane, and then he had taken advantage of my grace without so much as a wave to say “thank you”. As I sat there pondering how ungrateful this man had been, I could almost hear God saying to me, “I know how you feel.” And with that, I was reminded of how much I take from God's hand of grace without saying thank you.
One of the foundational beliefs we have as Christians is that God is the provider of all that we have. This is made clear in 1 Chronicles 29:14, which tells us, “Everything we have comes from You.” It doesn't get much clearer than that - everything we have comes from God. And yet, so often we go through the day enjoying all that God has given us - our health, our possessions, our relationships, our work - without so much as a “thank you wave” to God for what He's giving us.
The problem with this attitude of ungratefulness is that it's not how God has called us to live. Ephesians 5:20 tells us to to, “give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” God wants us to be thankful people. Not because it builds His ego, but because it gives us a more accurate perspective of our lives, and keeps our eyes on the one Who is truly our provider.
So today, let's give thanks where it's due. Let's ask God to help us stop taking His grace and provision for granted, and instead, be thankful for all that He has done for us, all that He is doing for us and all that He will do for us.