Momma red panda at the Sedgwick County Zoo - Wichita, KS

Say thanks before the joy fades

When you talk to God and ask Him for things, do you ever really expect a response? I mean, seriously, do you honestly expect Him to reply to you? Maybe not in an audible voice but in some way that you can’t deny it’s Him?

Momma red panda at the Sedgwick County Zoo - Wichita, KS

Momma red panda at the Sedgwick County Zoo – Wichita, KS

Today’s verse is Psalm 28:7.

The Lord is my strength and shield.
    I trust him with all my heart.
He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.
    I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.

When God has answered prayers for me recently, He’s done it in a specific way that tells me and shows me exactly who He is. And in the last month, even though it’s been difficult, I can tell you that I have greater trust in Him than I ever have.

And I can identify with David in this when he wrote, “He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.”

Has that ever happened to you?

It’s like a camera flash when you realize exactly what’s happening, when exactly what you asked for occurs. Warm and blinding but then kind of leaves you with a tingly feeling. Maybe that’s just me. For me, it takes a few moments to get over the actual shock of it but then, I can’t stop grinning. Or crying. Or both. Because knowing that God hears you and understanding that God hears you are two very separate concepts.

God, the inventor of the sunrise, the shaper of the universe, the genius behind the duck-billed platypus, listens to our requests and many times answers. And He doesn’t just answer; many times, He answers personally. It’s like getting the perfect Christmas gift from someone who knows you better than you know yourself.

I’ve got the joy part down. What I sometimes forget is the thanksgiving part. Sometimes it’s hard for me to move past the shock that He actually answered. Other times, I move on from the shock straight into action, like the nine lepers Christ healed who didn’t come back to say thank you (Luke 17:11-19). And I need to be like the one who came back and thanked Him.

Joy is great. And understanding the concept of Someone like God paying attention to our requests is beyond awesome. But let’s not take it for granted. We need to make sure He knows that we’re thankful.

So tell Him. Like you’re talking to a friend on the phone. My new car God provided me with has integrated Bluetooth so I can talk on the car’s connection, but I’m sure it looks like I’m nuts. But that’s sort of what it’s like, talking to God (not that you’re nuts; but that you’re just talking).

Tell Him what you’re thankful for. He wants to hear. Yes, He knows if you’re thankful, but something happens when you tell people you’re thankful. It’s a humility thing. It deepens your relationship because you’re admitting that someone else did something for you that you might not have done for yourself.

So tell Him. He’s waiting to hear from you. Don’t let that joy you felt when you realized the answer came from Him fade away. Do it now.