Thankfulness, Out of the Mouths of Babes
“O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.” I Chronicles 16:34, NASB.
Ephesians 5:18-20 says “… let the Holy Spirit fill and control you. Then you will sing psalms, and hymns, and spiritual psalms among yourselves, making music to the Lord in your hearts. And you will always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The New Living Translation.
I volunteered to teach preschoolers during our church’s Christmas program. We helped our 3 and 4-year olds make a nativity picture with stickers of the baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and wise men. The boys and girls slowly became comfortable with each other, and with us. Eric, who had a bruise on his forehead, pulled away quietly by himself. Sherry, a year or two older, was a bit bossy; there was adorable, sweet 3-year old Erin; and 4-year old twins Xavier and Justin, working hard on their pictures.
After making our crafts and reviewing our Bible verse, we walked to chapel for lesson time.
“Why do we celebrate Christmas?” asked the leader.
“It’s all about presents.”
“Well, not all … but God gave the best present when He gave us Jesus, and when we give presents we remember that best gift.”
Returning to our classroom, I handed out goldfish snacks and water. One of the boys piped up, “We didn’t pray!” Whoa, teacher! “Right you are. Who’d like to thank God for our snack?” Several did, and then four-year Xavier began to pray.
“Thank you Lord for this wonderful food, and for Mom and Dad and for the sun and the stars and the moon–and more, and more, and more. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
This precious four-year old thought goldfish were “wonderful food”, and his parents and nature worthy of praise. And he recognized that however much he could thank God for, there was always more, and more, and more!
I want to have a heart of thanksgiving like Xavier’s. How often do I stop to thank God for the many good things He puts into my life, whether large or small–from running water to sunshine to a hug from a friend or a smile from a stranger when I’m feeling low.
Lord, let my attitude be more like Xavier’s. Help me to come to you as a child, in faith, appreciation and awareness of your goodness, which is so much greater than I can possibly acknowledge in my simple language. Thank you for loving me…and for more, and more, and more.