The Thank You Wave
This morning I found myself stuck in 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 away from the light, feeling confident that I would make it through the next time.
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 stopped my vehicle to make room for him to move in. He did so, and then stopped for a pedestrian in the crosswalk. The result was that the light turned yellow, and we weren't through the intersection. At the last moment, he accelerated through the intersection and was gone. I, on the other hand, was left sitting in the same place.
As I watched his taillights disappear, I could sense my frustration beginning to rise. However, my frustration wasn’t that I was stuck in traffic, it was that I had let this guy in my lane and he had taken advantage of my grace without so much as a wave to say “thank you”. But as I sat there pondering how ungrateful this man had been, I could almost hear God saying to me, “I totally get how you feel.” And with that, I was reminded of how much I take from God's hand of grace without even taking the time to say “thank you”.
A 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 any 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.
One of the biggest problems with this attitude of ungratefulness is that it's not how God has called us to live. Ephesians 5:20 tells us 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 keeps our eyes focused on the truth of Who is ultimately our provider, which keeps us humble and open to what He’s doing in our lives.
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, is doing, and has promised He will continue to do for us.