King David was king over Israel in the north and Judah in the south as the country was now united under his rule. His wives had given him heirs and spares and he had built his palace. All was going well till one day he realised that here he was with everything, and the Ark which was central to the worship of God, was residing in a tent. Something had to be done about that.
David sent for Nathan the prophet to bounce off him the idea of a temple for the worship of God, and Nathan’s reaction was “go for it, for God has said he will bless you in all you do”. But God had other ideas and gave Nathan the message “Thanks, but no thanks”. David accepted this and did not proceed with his idea of building a temple, for that would be the task of his heir, Solomon.
It is interesting how we react to a ‘thanks but no thanks’ response. In this magnificent part of the world, the Whitsundays, there is no visible church or not like there used to be. Yes, there are plenty of Christian clubs meeting but unless you are in the know, you wouldn’t know where when and why they exist. I would love to be involved in a Christian group/church which is mission/outreach orientated and use the talents which God has given me, and although I have constantly asked God to help solve this problem here, the silence seems to be the equivalent of ‘thanks for asking me but no thanks’. Because of this situation, I can no longer teach Religious Education at the local school, something I have loved doing for 25 years, and I must admit it hurts not to be involved in just this one mission activity. So as not to become bitter or even angry with this situation, my thoughts towards God are “although I don’t necessarily agree with your outcomes or lack of outcomes, I know that I can still trust you.”
It is very easy to become negative about all sorts of subjects, even more so for people in my age group – the more mature. When you have been around for a while and have degrees of wisdom, it is so easy to dwell on the incompetence of political parties, institutions and anything else that comes to mind. Your thoughts and ideas may well be correct but there needs to be a balance in our conversation. Not everything in this world is wrong even if it looks that way at the time.
‘Count your blessings’ has been around for a long time, but this really is a good way to balance a ‘Thanks but no thanks’ situation. King David made plans and preparations for the temple which he would not see but at the same time, accepted God’s decision that he, David, was not to actually build the temple. There are times when we may not agree with God’s decisions and learning to accept that can be hard work, but in all we do, our responsibility is to continue to trust God.
‘Thanks but no Thanks’ may be hard to accept but what a comfort is the assurance that God knows exactly what he is doing.