Thanksgiving is that time of year when we focus on gratitude, but giving thanks and experiencing appreciation are not necessarily on the same serving dish.
Ever had a rough year…
…one where the negative events and emotional drama of life is best left unstated and forgotten? Welcome to Jeremiah’s life.
Jeremiah was a prophet. In Kingdom terms, he was a successful prophet—that is, he sacrificed everything and had nothing to show for it in his generation.
Jeremiah was born during the reign of one of the most horrible kings in history. The people he served rejected him. His prophecies were burned by the king. His own brothers attacked him. A fellow priest put Jeremiah into the stocks, and the city officials threw him into a deep cistern. His reputation was that of an emotional mess—the “Weeping Prophet.”
I have yet to read a Christian’s job description that states:
Expect to be appreciated, validated, and thanked for your labors.
It just isn’t in the contract. Scripture emphasizes our role of giving thanks, not receiving it.
Jeremiah died, unknown and unappreciated; yet, we are still reading his words and learning from his prophecies 2,600 years later. This prophet had a bigger picture then just the dreams of this life. He fulfilled the call of God in his generation because he knew the call was one that carried on over into eternity future.
An old story is told of Henry C. Morrison who became sick after serving forty years in Africa and had to return home to America. There was a great crowd gathered as the mighty ocean liner docked in New York Harbor. Morrison watched as President Teddy Roosevelt received a grand welcome-home party after his African safari.
Fighting resentment, Henry turned in discouragement to God. “I have come back home after all this time and service to the church and there is no one, not even one person to welcome me home.”
Then a still, small voice whispered in Morrison’s ear, “You’re not home yet, Henry.”
We are not home yet, friends.
Only when we are truly home will we hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
- How important is appreciation to you?
- Can you live without it?
- Does our culture help or hinder an attitude of gratitude? Why?
Join the conversation in the comment section below.