As I have written about in previous posts, I am no lover of traffic. And it is one of the areas in my life I have to constantly work with the Lord on to perfect me in. I have a very short temper in traffic. Actually, so funny – the other morning I was for once nice and calm in traffic, thanks to feeling tired in the cold South African start of winter and someone spitefully cut me off! Like, really nasty. For no reason. This time I was actually minding my own business! When I passed this person, who gave me a filthy look, it was someone from church! Hah!
But any way, I have been praying and working with the Holy Spirit to perfect me in this area. Coming home from work the other day, I always approach a traffic light with heavy traffic. Besides praying to be patient in traffic, I am praying to be kind to other drivers (Eph 4:32), even if they drive 7 car spaces behind the car in front of them…
There was someone waiting desperately to be let into my lane so he could take the traffic light, and I opted for kindness and gave him a space, which means I would have had to skip my turn at the green light and wait as it had now turned red. He pulls in front of me and to my horror, he never even said thank you! I said, “Lord! What! He doesn’t even say thank you!”
And then this quiet voice says, “Why do you need to be thanked for doing what is required in My Word?” That hit me like a ton of bricks! I have never thought of it like that before! The more I thought about it, the more I realised what nerve I had to expect a thank you. I felt rather sheepish.
Just the other day as I was chatting with the Lord I told Him how I have truly been seeing the benefits of obeying Him and how the verse “I delight to do Your will” (Psalm 40:8) really sinks in. Yet a few days later I’m expecting a thank you! Weird.
It got me thinking of how many times we expect to be thanked for doing God’s work, whether it be serving coffee at church, feeding the poor, glorifying Him in our jobs, praying for someone’s healing or even taking out the trash. The Bible says we need to be thankful in everything, not the other way round! If we really and truly delight to do His will, we won’t become offended when we are not thanked for it. We don’t need thanks for doing what we were placed here to do – our reward is eternity in Heaven! (Matt 5:12)