Teaching our children to say thank-you was a lesson that we started at a very early age. Most parents do, I’m sure. It was so cute to hear their little voices say those words, and very gratifying as parents when they said them without prompting. Like all of life’s early lessons, though, it had to be taught. Very few children will just naturally be thankful.
Sometimes Aaron is demanding. “Mom! Come here!” “Mom! Look!” Mom! Bring me my coffee!” I remind him all the time to say please and thank you. Why are those words sometimes so hard for him to say? And how often, after handing him something, do I stand there and wait? He might notice me waiting and he might not. If he doesn’t notice, I’ll eventually say those words that all of us have said many times. “What do you say?” I’ll ask. Then comes the thank-you, but not without my prompting. An unprompted, spontaneous thank-you would have meant so much more to me.
How often, though, do I do this same thing to God? How like a child I am in my relationship to Him! For me, it’s easy to say thank-you for the obvious. My husband, my children, my home, my health, my friends, food……….. The list can get long. But I know there are times when God stands beside me waiting for me to say thank-you. Sometimes I just forget to say the words. Yet many times the thing He wants me to thank Him for is not something that I necessarily AM even thankful for.
There He stands, waiting. Waiting on me. The eventual stirring in my heart is when I imagine Him leaning down toward me. “What do you say?” He whispers to me. And He waits for me to remember that He has said, “In everything give thanks.” Not just the obvious……….not just the pleasant……….but in everything. And when I finally remember to say thank-you, or I finally get over my hurt or stubbornness and say thank-you, I know that He is very pleased.
He loves me. He wants me to know that “in everything” He has my good in mind. Saying those words isn’t a magic formula. It’s instead an acknowledgement of trust on my part. Even when I don’t feel thankful, just saying the words to Him opens my heart to a level of trust that I hadn’t known before. I trust that this thing…….this situation…….is sent from God for my good and for His glory.
What do you say? Thank You, God. Thank you.