Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Thanksgiving (04/18/05)
TITLE: God’s Dwelling Place
By Babashola Oladipupo
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Gratitude has over the times been proved to be rewarding in so many different ways. Yet many don’t seem to display this gracious heart quality. Really, if we want to, we will find many who are engaged in doing good. But it is for we, who live – or want to- positively, to readily acknowledge whatever good we find in others by expressing our gratitude. For the positive heart is a grateful heart.
There is power, great power, in gratitude; both God and man prize it. Even if it is for the recognition of self, we must be eternally grateful for the joy of living. For there is a new meaning in a life whose true being has been discovered. The truth, truly, sets us free.
This happened to me when I passed through my ‘wilderness’ (we all will someday). For about ten years I went through the pains of a broken family; betrayal of a fiancée, who left me- under pressure, though- to marry another man and lately, withdrawal from the university and pursuit of dream career. All these came upon me in succession- as written. But, today, I’m eternally grateful to God, not for the pains, but for finding the meaning and purpose for my life in my pains. I can’t thank Him enough for Christ’s grace that saw me through- till today- even though the situation has not changed.
Even when God seems to be so unfair, He deserves our thanksgiving and praise. He has not promised to be fair but to be just anyway. So we must be grateful for His justice.
There is a story, long ago, about a king and his subjects: One day the king sat on his throne to here and attend to the problems of his subjects. Several people- old and young- came complaining. “O king, what is, today, happening in our land? We cannot provide for ourselves not to talk of our families.” The king would then ask each one of them, “What would me have me do for you?” Each told the king what he or she wanted and the king would provide by sending, to go with them, a servant in charge of providing whatever they wanted.
But there was a man whose name was Judah. All the way from the palace gate, he praised the king with songs of thanksgiving. He continued even as he prostrated, in honor, before the king. The king was so moved that he stood up from his seat of throne and asked, “what can I do for you, my son?” But Judah’s reply further endeared him toward the king: “Ah, o king, I’m not here to ask for anything but to thank you for all you’ve been doing and for what and who you are and have been to me and my family.” And he continued in his praises.
The king said in his heart, “others came complaining but here is one who only came to thank me for what and who I am.” He was so overwhelmed. He then told Judah: “I know about all your needs and today I’ll provide you with more.” Then he called all his servants, who provides all kinds of needs, and commanded them to follow Judah to his home. Yet, again, as they were leaving his presence, the king said to himself, “I’ve sent all my servants to go with this my son, what then am I also waiting for?” so the king also followed this grateful man to his home.
This is what happens when a man is grateful to his loving Creator. He blesses him beyond his widest imagination- more than he can ever fathom. That is why the apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians, “ Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, WITH THANKSGIVING, present your requests to God.” (Phi 4:6, NIV). For He knows about our needs before we present them onto Him.
God dwells, not only in heaven, but also, I believe, in a meek and thankful heart.
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