When it’s Time to Celebrate
At this moment I have just returned from a retirement celebration. The honoree asked me to pray because she wanted to give praise to God, even as her co-workers praised her for her years of faithful service. Gratitude has a way of stirring humility in our hearts and wise people know nothing good happens without God’s involvement.
Recently, NBA star Kevin Durant was awarded the league MVP, an award highly prized by professional basketball players. In his acceptance speech he took time to personally thank everyone who had contributed to his success as a person and a player. Kevin began his comments by thanking God, which may not sound all that unusual. But he closed his speech by returning to his belief he had been blessed by God. He said he wanted to open and close his thoughts by giving honor to the “Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End”, and to thank Him for saving him. Kevin Durant has learned how to celebrate.
Normally, our prayers of celebration take less time than the ones we offer in times of distress, or in the process of working through a critical decision. Our fears seem more relevant than our blessings.
The phrase, “We pray to God when we need Him, but forget to thank Him when things go well” has certainly become a cliché. On the other hand, this is the place to start and conclude in our relationship with God. We thank God for the things He has, is and will do in our lives. As Kevin Durant said, He is the “Beginning and End”, not only of human history, but our personal story as it weaves through His eternal plan. “Give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18), for everything (Ephesians 5:20).