"In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NKJV)
I've lived through days that I wished weren't true and I know this is true.
That giving thanks is not only a commandment but a lifeline for a child of God. Sometimes thanksgiving is the only way I can find to connect to God. I've driven to work with tears streaming down my face and feeling so far from God and the only words I could say at all were "Thank You" for everything I could see.
Sometimes on the good days it is easier for me to forget to give thanks. Before I know what is happening, I've lost close communion with God because I am living like a greedy child, loving and hoarding the gifts but not giving thanks to the Giver.
Friends, if you haven't read One Thousand Gifts, please do. It's been on the New York Times bestseller list for weeks, but it's not overrated. I especially love the gift book, Selections from One Thousand Gifts. It's easy to find my favorite lines from One Thousand Gifts in this compact edition where they are paired with stunning photographs. During the darkest days of my life, I held onto my Bible, my journal and pen, and this beautiful little book.
This is one thing I hope to encourage and cultivate in my preschoolers....a heart of gratitude. Because I know that giving thanks is a lifeline and these kids in this world are going to need that if they're going to hang onto any faith at all....especially some of them. They must be convinced that the heart of God is good. They need to know that He is bigger than everything impossible and terrible and horribly twisted. And if they remember that every good thing comes from Him, they'll remember His goodness.
That's why I love so much to hear them pray prayers like this: "Dear Jesus, thank You for the popcorn and the grapes and the cantaloupe. Thank You for our friends, and thank You for our school. Thank You that we can have a happy day. In Jesus' Name. Amen."
or this...."Thank You for the lunch and thank You that You that You love us and thank You for this entire earth. Thank You for the milk and for the cities and the buses."
All praise to God!
My thanks list today....
~sweetest preschool girlfriends, one English-speaking and tall with gorgeous blonde curls, the other petite with dark hair and eyes and Chinese-speaking, both of them so perfect
~the most wonderful coworkers I could ask for
~city lights glistening on rain-washed city streets
~my warm winter coat
~an encouraging sermon and beautiful worship music yesterday morning, giving me courage for another week
~my family and friends in PA, wonderful enough to miss so much
~all the little faces smiling on my walls, my fridge, in picture frames
~that I can trust His goodness "The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works." -Psalm 145:17 (ESV)