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While Gratitude Is The Way To Go – By Babatunde Olugboji

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While Gratitude Is The Way To Go – By Babatunde Olugboji

Giving thanks to God reminds us of how much we have, even when you have somehow convinced yourself you don’t really have much. Do you know that we often focus on what we don’t have and not what we have?

I remember several years ago when we were looking to move our 3 kids to another school. 2 of the 3 were immediately accepted at this hard-to-be-accepted Christian school. It wasn’t clear when they would find a place for the 3rd child. But they said they would let us know when they do have a place for our son. That wasn’t the news I was hoping to hear. The current school of this 3rd child was on one side of town and the Christian school on the other, meaning we had to find ways of sorting out how to drop 3 children in 2 different schools. 

I wouldn’t describe myself as a happy person at this point. Until, like the prodigal son in Luke 15, I had a good conversation with myself. God did 2 out of 3. That was like 66%. Shouldn’t I have known that he that began the good work will carry it on to completion (Phil 1:6)?  Or that thanking God for what He has given me would accelerate the rate at which He would finish the job? This school was super selective. Some children would be on the waiting list for months. About 3 weeks later, the school called: “We found a place for your child.” 100% completion.

By giving thanks continually we are reminded of how much we are blessed. When we start thanking God for the things we usually take for granted, our perspective changes. We realize that we could not even exist without the merciful blessings of God. 

I met a 7-year-old boy on the outskirts of Harare, Zimbabwe sometime in October 2019. It was around 3pm that day. He was at an abandoned quarry to fetch water with his two sisters. All his life he hadn’t encountered tap water. He wouldn’t recognize a shower if he saw one. The last time water flowed from the tap in his town was well before he was born. 

He lifted a small bucket of water from a small ditch. The water was of a dull, brownish gray color, almost cloudy. “When it settles it will be good,” he assured me. “We use it to bathe, wash clothes, plates and pans.”

Barefooted, with the plastic bucket on his head, he joined his siblings to begin the 20-minute journey home. He would later go and find firewood. All before dinner time. “This is my routine 6 days a week. I have been coming here with my sisters since I could walk, I was told.”

The Bible says, “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Shouldn’t we be grateful for where we are even when we think we are not where we want to be? Shouldn’t you thank God that you can turn the tap on and off? That you can flip a switch and the lights come on. The 7-year-old boy doesn’t have electricity in his home. 

Will you say a simple prayer this week? God helps me to appreciate where I am at the moment, knowing that You brought me to this point and that You will take me even further. 

Have a great week.

Kingdom Dynamics, a weekly column  written by Dr. Babatunde Olugboji, the President, Kingdom House, a non-profit organization in New Jersey, USA.