Many, many years ago I worked at A&W as a waitress – not a carhop, but a waitress. Same root beer and hot dog menu but inside a cheap dining room. There was a woman who came into the dining room every once in a while who was a “difficult” customer. She never left a tip and complained about everything. The older waitresses told me there was no pleasing her, and they no longer tried. I decided I would give it go anyway. I was friendly and courteous. I brought her the salad before her dinner as requested. I swapped out her shrimp dinner because it was too cold. I filled and refilled and filled again her coffee cup. She blew smoke in my face and called me repeatedly to her table for more ketchup or cream or a clean fork because she had dropped hers on the floor. (I think she did it on purpose.) When she left, she left me a tip… five pennies at the bottom of her ash trash which was filled with ashes and a little of her coffee so it was a soupy mess. I didn’t thank her for coming. The older waitresses were right. There was no pleasing her.
Earlier this week, I stopped by the sanctuary of our church in the early morning for a moment of prayer. I was in a grumpy mood and was complaining to the Lord about everything that was not to my liking. Suddenly I recalled the woman in the restaurant from years ago. The focus of my prayer was a list of complaints and requests for better service. I was more respectful than the woman who tormented the waitresses at A&W, but there was no denying that my words were disagreeable. I had not taken the time to thank God for the wonderful people and gifts in my life or the answers to prayer that had brought blessing to me. I was focused on the half a glass… or maybe the ¼ of a glass that I perceived to be empty instead of the 3/4s of the glass that was full of blessing I paused in stunned silence for a moment at the revelation and immediately began to list my blessings and to express gratitude to God.
Paul writes in Philippians 4:6, “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” So often in our prayers we make our requests known (lots of them) but forget to thank God for answered prayer and for the multiple blessings many of which were never even requested. God sees what we need and provides without a request and often without any thanks. Parents do this for their children every day.
I hope you will take a moment to count your blessings today and to give thanks to the one who gives you every breath and life in abundance.
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