One of my life's greatest blessings has been a friendship with the late Calvin Miller. I always looked up to him and respected him for his preaching, writing, and artwork. That guy could do about anything. He's in Heaven now, and I'm happy for him. But I sure do miss him from time to time.
Years ago, Calvin had a cabin in New Mexico. And in this cabin, he kept his paintings. He truly was talented as an artist. Anyway, some of his friends and church members would go and stay at his cabin from time to time. Calvin had always hoped one of these people would notice his paintings and say something about them. But for a while, nobody said anything. Not one of the guests acknowledged or praised his artistic creations.
But one day, that changed.
A little girl came up to Calvin one Sunday. She tugged on his coat, so he knelt down, got eye-level with her, smiled, and listened to what she had to say. And this was what she told him: "Dr. Miller, I saw your artwork in your cabin, and it was really good. I liked it!" Filled with gratitude, Calvin reached into his pocket, pulled out a five dollar bill, gave it to the little girl, and told her, "Thank you sweetie! Take this and go buy yourself some ice cream with it."
The happy little girl went running down the hall and waving her five dollar bill in the air while shouting with joy. A few minutes later, after learning what had happened, the child's father walked up to Calvin. With a sheepish grin on his face, he said, "You know, Dr. Miller, I liked your paintings too!"
Ha! I love that story. It's one of my favorites. :)
Calvin took pleasure in people acknowledging what he had done. It made him feel good when he knew that his work had meant something to someone. Aren't we all at least somewhat like that? Sure we are! We all like to know that our efforts matter to someone.
Could it be that God also delights in our praise? I think so. Why wouldn't He?!
God has done far more than painting pictures. He has created, protected, sustained, loved, accompanied, blessed, redeemed, and saved us. Through His son, Jesus, He has poured out blessing after blessing on us. And it seems to me that just as that little girl gave Calvin a little praise, we ought to give God some praise. Actually, we ought to give Him A LOT of it!
May we all take the time to tell God what we like about Him. Let's compliment Him on His amazing attributes. Let's thank Him for His generous gifts. Let's praise Him for His awesome accomplishments.
We don't do this because He somehow needs it. And we don't do this in hopes that God will give us a five dollar bill. No, we do this because God definitely deserves it, and He delights in the praises of His people.