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Thursday, October 24, 2013

on giving thanks.

Last night, as Pax and Holden prayed with me before they climbed into their beds, God used them, once again, to teach me. The purity and faith in their prayers finally hit me. They always pray with thanksgiving and it didn't always make sense to our adult ears (Jeremy and I). Well, I finally realized that our adult ears haven't been the brightest. So as normal, they prayed in thanksgiving for things they trusted God to do:
Dear God, thank you for keeping me safe and warm tonight as I sleep. Thank you for comforting me when I get scared. Thank you for giving us a good day tomorrow. Instead of always asking for these things, they pray with faith and thanksgiving for those things He consistently does in their lives. They pray knowing that He will be faithful to fulfill. Sadly, I can not say that they have learned this from our prayers. We are often asking. Yes, we pray with thanks for blessings, but we don't always pray with thanks for our requests. So it finally hit me! They have it right. I've had it a little wrong. Another ironic part of this, was that it was just a typical night. I was not expecting a lesson from my boys. And when I asked if either of them wanted to pray, they both replied "no". Sometimes they want to and sometimes they don't. So I said that I would pray for them. But then they both changed their minds and decided they wanted to pray first. So this lesson for me could have easily been missed. Not to mention, that Jeremy normally does the bedtime routine with Holden and Pax. But I took over because he was putting Abe to bed. It could have easily been missed. But it wasn't. It was a moment ordained by God. And one that I needed. A moment that is going to begin to change my conversations with God.

Earlier in the day, I had read a devotional from my One Thousand Gifts Devotional. This is still the best devotional book I can recall using. I've blogged about it once before, here. I'm about 3/4 of the way through it now. And once I'm done with it, I'll probably just start over from the beginning. It's been incredible. And yesterday I read these truths..."Murmuring thanks doesn't deny that an event is a tragedy and neither does it deny that there's a cracking fissure straight across the heart....Giving thanks is only this: making the canyon of pain into a megaphone to proclaim the ultimate goodness of God...Our thanks to God is our witness to the goodness of God when Satan and all the world would sneer at us to recant...That which I refuse to thank Christ for, I refuse to believe Christ can redeem."
So 1 Thessalonians 5:18 took on a new meaning to me after reading those words. "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
So when my husband is working crazy hours and we are missing him at home...I can still give thanks for God's goodness.
When a child spends a day battling me at every corner...I can still give thanks for God's goodness.
And if the plans we've made for our lives crumble beneath us and we are stripped of all control...I can still give thanks for God's goodness, his control over all things, his consistency and his presence in our lives.

This theme of thanksgiving seems to be ever present in my life right now. And it should be. It's always been easy to give thanks in the "good". But it's been a new challenge for me to think about living in that place of thanksgiving when life is not what I want it to be. Perhaps it's easier said than done. Right now, life is pretty happy. But how will I respond when that changes?


everyday graces said...

Thanks for sharing this. I needed to hear it.

The Everharts said...

Love this. So so true.