A number of years after I was saved, I came across the passage in the Bible where Jesus healed 10 lepers. One returned to thank Him. Jesus asked were there not ten. Where are the other 9?
Since that day, I tried to make sure I thanked God for what he has provided for us, though I must admit I did have some problems being thankful for the rain on cold nights when I walked a post on guard duty. Indeed, I had a hard time thinking of just how much we humans need rain.
I also try to remind others to be thankful, even when their baseball game gets rained out or when the camping trip is ruined by the sudden deluge. If that farmer doesn’t get that rain, he can’t feed us. Moreover, the water from those rains is used in uncountable other ways, including manufacturing. It is a small matter that our lives are disturbed for the short term, even if the rain becomes a little heavy. Naturally, the rain can become a disaster. Floods can be devastating.
My eyes have been opened to something else for which we should be thankful. To be sure, to most, it will seem odd. To be sure, God disciplines His children. It hardly seems probable that a person should say, “Thanks God. I needed that.” Yet we should be grateful to him for His chastisement. If He didn’t, how much more would we would go astray. It would be bad for us and everyone around us.
We, as humans, even punish our dogs, knowing it is for their benefit. To be sure, we chastise them when they run into the street, that is, unless we hate them and hope they get run over. We punish our children when they decide to put their fingers on a hot stove or into the electrical outlet. It is not because we hate them. It is not because we take pleasure in it. It is far easier to ignore them.
Through their childhood, we tell our children “No,” when they ask to do things that might lead to their harm. Certainly, it is far easier to say yes and just hope for the best.
So, maybe, the next time you think God is punishing you, You just might say “Thank you.” You might say, “I appreciate that.” Conceivably, you just might even say, “I needed that.” Even if you don’t mean it, it is still the right thing to do. Eventually, it just might change your point of view. It has already changed mine.