Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Thanksgiving (04/18/05)
TITLE: Subjective Gratitude
By Leticia Caroccio
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Mary hated being called on to answer questions in class. She didn’t like it when all eyes focused on her, as if she was on display. As the teacher scanned the room, Mary avoided eye contact at all cost. “Please, God, don’t let him pick me. Let him call on someone else”. The teacher’s eyes settled on one of Mary’s classmates and Mary escaped noticed for the moment. “Thank you, God” was Mary’s response to the answered prayer request.
Liz had lost her wallet and was desperately looking for it everywhere. She looked under the beds and sofa. She looked in every purse she owned. She turned her car upside down and still she couldn’t find it. “God, please help me. I would hate to have to go to the Motor Vehicles Department and then call all those credit card companies. Please, Lord, help me find it”. Then Liz went to get a drink from the refrigerator and lo and behold, there was the wallet. Liz had absentmindedly placed it in the fridge when she came in from grocery shopping. “Thank you, Lord, for helping me” breathed Liz.
Harry looked up at the cloudy night sky and breathed a prayer for tomorrow, “Lord, please let the sun come out tomorrow. It’s my wedding day and things will really be a mess if it rains. So please let the sun shine tomorrow”. The next morning Harry awoke to parting clouds and in coming sunshine. “Thank you so much, God. You heard my prayer” said Harry.
Hannah and Dave had joyously awaited the arrival of their firstborn son. They fully expected to have a bouncing, healthy baby boy. But when they looked at the grave concern etched on the faces of the doctors and nurses in the delivery room, they knew that something was terribly wrong. Something was wrong with their child. Right there in the delivery room, they held hands and prayed for a miracle.
Baby Jake was born with a deadly skin disease and the prognosis was the worst that they had feared. The doctors told the desperate parents that Jake was not expected to live for more than just a few hours. Anything more would be a divine miracle. Hannah and Dave knew Jesus and believed that miracles happened to those who believed. So they sat vigil by their son’s incubator and waited. Every hour that passed, they thanked the Lord for the fleeting moments with their treasure.
Pretty soon 24 hours had passed and Baby Jake had survived his first day on this earth. And Hannah and Dave thanked their Lord. As the doctors and specialists scratched their heads, days and weeks and months went by and Baby Jake was still hanging on. Though still sick and dying he began to grow into a beautiful baby. And his loving, devoted parents thanked the Lord for the time God had allowed them to know their son.
Sixteen years later, Jake, no longer a baby, succumbed to his illness and went home to be with his Jesus. And Hannah and Dave, though broken hearted, celebrated his young life and the impact he had made on them. Because of his fight for life, Hannah and Dave believed in the power of a living and loving God. And they thanked the Lord for His grace and faithfulness.
Mary, Liz, Harry, Hannah and Dave all offered up prayers to the Lord. All of them expected their prayers to be answered. But who offered up the most heartfelt prayer? Whose prayer deserved to be answered? Would God hold Hannah and Dave’s prayer above Harry’s, who prayed for sunshine? Do you, like me, think that a prayer for a sick child is more worthy of an answer from God? Thankfully, our thoughts are not His thoughts.
All of the above requests were made because of a need in our lives. The Bible says that the Lord lifts the needy. It tells us to “Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for me” (Psalms 107:8 NIV).
The Lord instructs us to be faithful in the small things and He will repay us in great ways. Isn’t it wonderful that He teaches us by example? He answers our prayers, both great and small, because He is said He would. All of the above believers did what He wants us to do; to make our request known to Him. All showed gratitude and thanked Him for His faithfulness.
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