“Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” Psalm 103:2 NIV
One day when my daughter was two years old, we went grocery shopping together. As we went up one aisle and down another, she would sometimes reach out from her seat in the cart for some little toy or pretty package. “I want that,” she would say. After telling her “no” several times, I finally pointed to one particular item and said, “You may want that, but you don’t need that.” In the very next aisle, she reached out for yet another enticing article. “I need that,” she said.
At times it can be hard to be thankful for what we have because we’re too focused on what we don’t have. When we ask our heavenly Father to meet our needs, it may seem we’re hearing “no” more than “yes.” Of course, it might be because, just like my daughter, we have trouble understanding the difference between our wants and our needs.
It’s good to have a roof over your head and enough food to eat, to have a job with some security, money in the bank, and a working car. It’s an amazing thing to be healthy and to have family who love you and friends who care about you. If you can claim these among your blessings, praise God!
But don’t make the mistake of thinking you need any of these things. You need God’s love and forgiveness. You need to have love for others. You need to be growing in your understanding of who God is and what he wants you to do with your life. You need to take your eyes off your own wants and remember to thank and praise God for all the good things he has done for you.
Many years have passed since my daughter got her first lesson about the difference between wants and needs, and she still struggles with the concept. So do I. That’s why every day it’s important to stop everything I’m doing and simply “Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits” (Psalm 103:2 NIV).