It's not that you want pats on the back--you just want to know if you're on the right path--if you're pleasing God. It'd be nice to hear from him sometimes. Maybe a little "I've noticed you, I've noticed your faithfulness. You're work is not in vain" would be good.
May I encourage you and myself with the truth that God pays particular attention to you? He notices every detail about your life. Strengths, weaknesses, sins, dreams and aspirations, hardships, faithfulness.
He sees your motivations and self-sacrifice. He knows that you love him deeply.
He doesn't waste your obedience; he treasures it. Your obedience brings forth his kingdom. And it makes you healthy and whole. Do you realize that? Have you noticed that as you obey, you are becoming more fully human--and healthy? It's true.
And you are overcoming evil with good (Romans 12:21).
Do you know that your obedience brings goodness and health to those around you (and in some cases, to those on the ends of the earth, those you've never met)? Your obedience births temporal and eternal blessings. None of us are ever quite fully aware of the implications of our obedience.
Another beautiful thing about obedience, perhaps the most beautiful of all is found in a promise from Jesus in John 14:21:
Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
In your obedience you show that you love Jesus. And you, the one who demonstrates your love of Jesus by obeying him, you are the one who is loved by the Father and the Son. The Father and the Son will show themselves to you. God has a special affection for you. A love you cannot comprehend.
To me, these are some of the most precious words spoken. God sees your obedience. Whether you're aware of it or not, your obedience is tied to both temporal and eternal blessings for yourself and others.
Now you and I, like Hagar can say, "He is the God who sees me."
She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” Genesis 16:13
God sees you.
*Note: I am not saying that these blessings are necessarily material blessings in this life.