I spent last night on our local Little League field waiting for the rain.
I spend most of the evenings on the ball court this time of year as my two sons both play and their schedules keep our family there more often than we are at home. In many ways, I kind of like that. It’s a joke that if you need to find me and the baseball season, the ball field is the best place to start your search. It is really accurate.
Last night was a game we thought just couldn’t happen because the forecast was for thunderstorms. Not just a chance of rain, but a 100 percent chance of heavy rain. Flash floods, tornadoes and general storms were in play and all expected.
Since baseball and bad weather don’t go well together, my sons and I prayed that God would keep the rain away so they could play their first game of the season. I read stories with them about prophets praying for it to rain or to stay away, so I thought it was God’s power to handle it.
It may have seemed presumptuous to ask God to keep the rain down over a minor league baseball game, but we prayed for it anyway.
The funny thing is that God answered that prayer.
Develop an attitude of gratitude
If you noticed, I restored the habit of reading a proverb every day; a habit that I’ve had again and again for some time. We have nine days a month now and I’ve only missed one day. But that’s ok. Time with God is not about ticking a box to make sure it is done every day. It’s about creating, and then strengthening, the habit of spending time alone with God each morning.
Occasionally, I have also taken the extra step of sharing a verse that was particularly important to me that day, to encourage others.
In this habit, I have found that an attitude of gratitude develops. Every morning I am grateful for my family, my health, my friends. If I take just a little time to ponder all that I am grateful for and spend time thanking the One who gives me these blessings, it will completely change the tone of my day.
This morning I was grateful that my two sons could play their baseball games last night.
This morning I was grateful that my car, despite being in poor condition, got me to work safely.
This morning I was grateful for my wife and for her diligence in raising our children to put the success of the kingdom above worldly success.
This morning I was grateful for my church family.
This is just the beginning of everything I am grateful for today.
Taking a step back and looking at the many little ways God blesses us changes our perspective and forces us to look at life through a lens of gratitude rather than a hazy perspective of anger and deadline. This is how I see life outside of my time with God; frustrated and discouraged by the negatives.
Not just a coincidence
One of the greatest obstacles to gratitude is forgetting that God is the source of all that we are grateful for. One of my biggest annoyances is when we pray for something and then write it off as a mere coincidence.
How often does this happen: we encounter something beyond our control and suddenly find that we are turning to God more than we normally do. We spend time in prayer, asking others to pray for us, and waiting for something to change. It could be a job situation, a relationship that needs fixing, an illness, financial problem, or some other event that makes us pray.
If we see a solution, if God does something to move this mountain and change this situation for our own good and for his glory, do we give him the glory or do we just pass it off as “coincidence”?
God answers prayers
It is heartbreaking to see God react to our supplication and then dismiss it as nothing special. How many times have we seen God save us financially, and we so often say how happy we are that a job fell into our lap or that “perseverance paid off.” How many times have we seen God miraculously healing or miraculously postponing a deadline that we couldn’t meet, and then we just ascribed it to good medicine or chance.
But when I take the time to remember who God is, who I am, and how He has carried me through circumstance after circumstance, I am more inclined to give him credit where his credit is due. When I give him credit for every good and perfect gift, my days will be full of gratitude rather than frustration. When I have a relationship with him instead of just praying occasionally when I have to do something, my first reaction is to praise him in any situation.
This helps me focus on the fact that we were praying for the rain to stop so the boys could play baseball. We can call this a coincidence, we can say that weather forecasts are often wrong anyway, we can call it luck, or we can see it as an answered prayer from the hand of God in response to a faithful prayer.
I choose to be grateful.
I choose to believe that God heard our prayers and gave us an answer. Is that really that strange? Is Our Faith Really That Weak? I choose to recognize that God is good and He is the giver of all good things.
So, I’m tired of blaming chance when something good happens in life, and even small things like a baseball game. Instead, I will choose to give glory to God for all things and make my mornings thankful.
Photo credit: © GettyImages / fizkes
Jason Soroski is a homeschool dad and member of the worship team at Matthias Lot Church in St. Charles, MO. He spends his free time hanging out with his family, exploring new places and writing about their experiences. Connect on Facebook or at JasonSoroski.net.