One day a woman was rushing home from a doctor’s appointment. The doctor had been somewhat delayed at the hospital, and the lab work took a little longer than usual so by the time she left the clinic she was running quite a bit behind schedule. She still had to pick up her prescription, pick up the children from the baby-sitter, and get home and make supper, all in time to make it to the prayer meeting at her church that evening. As she began to circle the busy Wal-Mart parking lot, looking for a space, the windows of heaven were opened, as it says in Genesis, and a downpour began. While she wasn’t usually the type to bother God with small problems, she began to pray as she turned down the row closest to the front door. “Lord, you know what kind of a day I’ve had, and there’s still an awful lot to do. Could you please grant me a parking space right away, oh, and close to the building so I don’t get soaked.” The words weren’t even completely out of her mouth when she saw the backup lights of a car come on at the end of the row. It was the best space in the whole parking lot, right next to the handicap spots and straight out from the front door. She made straight for it and as she pulled in, she said, “never mind God, something just opened up.”
Too often this is us…
We pray for God to hear and answer our prayers… and when He does we act as if we we’re owed His provision. That somehow His blessings should be taken for granted… as ordinary… or as something we’ve somehow earned.
Has the uncommon become too common? Are we still grateful for God’s blessings?
A parking space opens up… our child gets into the school… we catch every green light on the way to work…. or maybe it’s bigger things…
The cancer goes away
The spouse returns home
What seemed impossible is now reality because we prayed for it.
This isn’t a new situation.
“As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. As he entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance, crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.”And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy.
One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan.
Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.” Luke 17:11-19
Only one came back to thank God.
Only one didn’t see the healing as coincidence or something that he deserved.
Only one was grateful to Jesus for answering his plea.
Only one showed gratitude not entitlement.
Today, if you’ve been blessed by God or had prayers answered… take a few minutes and tell God thank you. It’s not that He’s waiting in Heaven for us to do so… but being grateful helps us remember where blessings come from. It isn’t luck. It isn’t coincidence.
It doesn’t come because we do good… it happens because HE is good.
He hears prayers. Every single one of them. And when He answers them… don’t be surprised. Don’t think it’s something you’re owed. Don’t let the enemy convince you that you were due a “break” from God.
See answered prayer as further evidence of His involvement in our lives. He cares deeply for us…not for us to be happy all the time… but for us to have the right (and reverent) attitude toward Him.