My youngest son, Alex volunteered to say grace for dinner tonight. As a very precocious four year old he’s a bit unpredictable. I’m never sure which way he’s going to jump… literally. Nevertheless with his older brother and sister sighing heavily and rolling their eyes at the thought of Alex leading what they consider a long winded prayer, Alex proceeded to talk to God.
First Alex thanked God for his guts. Of course we are headfirst involved in getting ready for Halloween so I’m sure that’s where this thought originated. But this was the first of many things Alex listed tonight that caught my attention. I’ve been challenged to think like God, to look at people like God, and to follow what God’s plans and dreams are rather than my own. I started thinking about God beaming down at my precious son and listening intently to what he was saying. I wondered if God heard “thank you from the deepest part of my being, even the parts that can’t be seen on the outside, even the ugly and hard to look at parts”, rather than “thank you for my lower intestines.”
Then Alex thanked God for his boo boos. I know most of us pray for protection and for God to keep us and our loved ones from harm and danger. I know one of my go to phrases is “God build a hedge of protection around this child.” But I wondered how our perspective would change if we thanked God for every emotion and feeling and experience He allows us to endure in the hopes of letting us live out loud completely as humans. I wonder what our life would be like if we really praised God in the storms of life even the ones that were uncomfortable or painful or confusing or seemingly pointless.
After his boo boos Alex thanked God for Jesus. As a parent I’m pretty proud of that. As adults I wonder if we are so caught up in presenting our needs and requests that we forget the reason we are able to petition God at all. Through Jesus’ life, death, burial, and resurrection we can call on the powerful name of Jesus.
Alex then gave thanks for his birth mother Marta Isabel. He’s pretty confused about the whole adoption setup and even the phrase “birth mom” gives him fits. He can’t quite pronounce the “th” so he’s translated “birth mom” quite adequately into “first mom.” Just like Alex, I don’t always understand the significance of the people God places in my life but I have to remember to thank Him for the opportunities and blessings He intends for me to receive through these people. Remember my paraphrase of the scripture “Be aware of strangers for they are angels in disguise.”
Finally Alex thanked God for “that guy Jonah.” I have no idea what prompted this reference but we can learn a lot from Jonah. We can learn about God’s plan for all people to receive forgiveness and salvation, we can learn that God will pursue us the ends of the earth to meet us where we are at. We can learn that God is big enough to send a big ‘ole whale our way to get our attention. I have to give thanks to God for not giving up on me.
I must end this and get my little man out of the shower. Right now he’s singing at the top of his lungs “THE BIBLE IS, THE BIBLE IS, THE BIBLE IS!!! THERE IS NO PLAN B!!!” *stunned silence
Again, I don’t know what synapses are firing in his amazing brain but I love where his heart seems to be headed.
What do you need to give God thanks for?