This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 2 Corinthians 9:12-13 (NIV)
For a year, while I petitioned the county for a building permit for a barn and while we constructed it, I knew that it would be nice to have a place of my own. I never dreamed what a sense of calm I would have upon moving him home. To be able to control the environment surrounding my horse, to know that when I put something in its place it will stay there, to be able to walk out in my backyard anytime and see him is such a relief; all are priceless gifts. All the dollars that we spent on permits and supplies, all the time arguing with bureaucrats, all the sweat as we labored have been worth it. I am so happy and peaceful now. This week, a lot of turmoil happened at the barn where I used to board. New management arrived, barn help fired, horses moved, equipment missing, waterlines broken and schedules disrupted. I hear complaints from the boarders who are left and know that lf my horse were still there, I would be beside myself with worry. I am not the only one. My friend who moved her horse to my house, wrote on the barn board, “We have much to be thankful for.” I echoed her words and wrote beside them, “Amen.” Nothing could have happened without my sweet husband’s help and encouragement. When I was ready to give up fighting for the permits, he urged me on. When I got frustrated with the plans, he sought help from knowledgeable people. He sacrificed his time and money to make something that would give me happiness. Several times this week, while stories about the upheaval at my former barn raced around my head, I attempted to tell him how grateful I was. I would say, “Thank you, thank you, thank you, for my barn”. I noted that I would be losing my mind if I were in the midst of the changes at the old barn. He simply smiled as if to say, “Yeah, right.” As often as I said, “Thank you,” the first opportunity I had to show him how thankful I was, I failed the test. He wanted me to do something for him and I made excuses. I was tired. I had other things I needed to do first. I promised to get to it, but just not right now. How loudly did my words speak thank you, when my actions, said “No thanks?” As happy as I am and as grateful as I am, unless I give back to him in gratitude, I might as well be speaking Greek. The same is true for God. Our obedience and our service show how thankful we are. We have much to be grateful for, after all God saved us and gave us eternal life. He walks beside us every day. Anything else is icing on the cake. How about you, does your life reflect your gratitude? Don’t just say it, live it!