Gratitude vs. Groaning
It's a balance isn't it? The balance between loving your life and wanting more... Is it ok to want more?
The sermon on Sunday touched my heart, made me think and led to two pages of notes, and then it seemed like everything I was reading since then on blogs or online or in the Bible brought these same thoughts up - so, here is a peek into what I am learning - let me know how this settles with you.
There is a balance between being grateful for the life that God has given us and also groaning in an earnest prayer for more. Whenever we tip the scales to one side over the other we either end up with apathy (only gratitude) or despair (only groaning).
I loved hearing this because there has been a battle going on inside of me... How can I be so thankful for all God is doing in my life and also be praying for more? Isn't that a selfish? Shouldn't I just live grateful and accept whatever comes my way without asking for more? NO!
God wants us to ask Him for our desires, He wants us to come to Him with earnest prayers and pleading... He doesn't just give us the bare minimum and then want us to thank Him for each meal from then on out and call it good. He loves us and wants us to come to Him with everything.
(My own notes about each verse - click the reference to read for yourself)
Keep asking - keep knocking - God gives good gifts
The Lord is good, He is faithful and gracious, He provides - He helps - He is near - He satisfies desires - HE HEARS MY CRY.
Praying always and don't be discouraged
Don't worry about anything - pray about everything - be grateful and let Him know everything
Give thanks - God is good.
It's ok to be thankful for all God has provided and still cry out needing more.
Here are some examples of things in my life.
I am grateful that God has supplied financially for my needs each day, and I am groaning in prayer that God would cover medical bills that have come up this fall.
I am grateful that God has given me joy, peace and freedom, and I am groaning in prayer that God would give me the gift of a man who loves him and would love me like I have never experienced before.
I am grateful that God has given me the opportunity to impact little lives around me at the studio, and I am groaning that God would impact them for the gospel and do so much more than I ever could.
I am grateful that God has given my children as a gift to me, and I groan in prayer over their future and my biggest desire that they would follow the Lord and choose Him with their entire lives.
I am grateful that I can take care of our day to day needs (cooking, cleaning, laundry) and groaning that I wouldn't have to always hold the responsibility meant for two.
There have been times that God has literally supplied a miracle in my life... I am talking an unexpected check in the mail to cover a medical expense, a medical miracle in the birth of my youngest, in supplying a location for the dance studio, in bringing different dance teachers into the studio... I mean, the list could go on and on - what did those times have in common? I was PRAYING, I mean like PRAYING... No taking a break for a minute to check social media... not just saying "I am praying" when really I am just worrying... I was deep in prayer and knowing that only God could make it possible.
Then there are times when I am just loving life the way it is... This summer was one of those times. SO THANKFUL for all God has done for me and the kids and the freedom He has given us, but unsure of how to get the dependent relationship I had when God worked miracles while not losing how thankful I am for what He has already given me.
So what do I do now?
I need to seek balance. I seek the balance of being both grateful for all God has done and also knowing, based upon past experience and knowledge about the character of God, that God desires to give me more if I would just ask. Balance to understand both God's nature as a provider and His sovereignty and majesty.
I encourage you to make a list... one column of things you are thankful for and another with Godly desires you have...
Are you thankful for your children and praying that God would end abortion?
Are you thankful that God has provided for you but praying that God would help your neighbor not lose their job?
Make a list and pray over it... Thanking God for all He has done and praying over your desires.
KEEP THE LIST (date it even) and look back and see what God has done... Maybe next year we can compare and praise God for all He has done.