I was listening in on my twins’ play and I caught these words. The one started. The other carried on, and they thought of SO MANY things they liked. They were listing off everything around them. It was clear they were rejoicing in the moment. Life. Family. Everything they had. I don’t know how long they would have kept on if I hadn’t chuckled a little over the nose one. They realized I was listening in and they laughed too and went on with their play.
We do not always hear thankfulness. Grumbling about soup AGAIN for supper. . . whining because we want to go to the park RIGHT NOW. . . fussing because something or someone ISN’T FAIR. It is a work in progress, this whole attitude of thankfulness. As a parent, trying to help my children grow in character, sometimes I wonder if they will ever learn to be content and thankful. So I carried these words of gratitude in my heart all afternoon. Especially precious to me was the fact that they liked their family. They were nearly three when they joined our family and nearly 5 when they were adopted. Attachment came with huge effort on our part and on theirs. So it brings me joy when I see that they love their family. It delights me to hear their gratitude. I am so thrilled when I see them being happy with the simple things we have.
It is the same way with God and us, I think. He first of all made us. Then He adopted us. Sometimes we big people can be like the little child who struggles with attachment. Sometimes we are scared to trust our Father. Gratefulness doesn’t live very well in a fearful heart. Maybe He wonders when we will ever learn to be more content. And those times when we are filled with thanksgiving, He loves to see us rejoicing with the circumstances He has chosen for us.
If I rejoice so much with the simple words of my girls in their play as they express gratitude for what they have and where they are, how much more the father heart of God is delighted with my thanks. And how grieved He must be when I forget to be thankful and let the inconveniences of life tempt me to whine.
A few verses challenge me to be a thankful child of God. In all circumstances: the pleasant and unpleasant. In all seasons: the easy and the hard.
“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” I Thessalonians 5:18
“I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Philippians 4:11
“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:20
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5