Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Resting Thankful

Closing the day as a family, lying on my youngest son’s bed and saying our good-night prayers, my son decides out of the blue that he wants to pray. This is a rare occurrence for him, especially at bedtime, as he tends to do more wiggling than praying; so, we were thrilled at this opportunity to peek into his young heart.

"Thank you, Jesus,” he began, “for my brother, my mommy, my daddy, my house, my friends ... Oh, and thank you especially for my bunk bed. And thank you Jesus for my Webkinz, and for the roof on our house, and for our neighbor friends we played with today. Thank you also for my covers, our food and plates, my cats ..."

My sweet son must have thanked Jesus for 10 solid minutes! He's the one who never wants to pray when we do family devotions or bedtime prayers. It was like he was catching up with God. I smiled at the thought.

We finally kissed him and his precious big brother good-night, gently closed the door behind us, and left the room.

Not even three minutes passed and we thought we heard our boys calling us, so my husband went to peek in on them. Everything was fine, but to his surprise, our youngest was already sound asleep. My husband examined him closely, and sure enough, the little guy was out. He had unloaded on Jesus and now was peacefully off to dreamland.

As I pondered his approach, Psalm 55:22 (NIV) rolled over in my mind. "Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you ..."

My young son had the faith to pour his little heart out to God in thanksgiving for even the smallest treasures, and now could rest secure in the love of the Father. I wondered why I often fail to do the same.

Why do we allow the spirit of discontentment and selfishness to rob us of true thankful rest in the Father’s care? Why do we focus too often on what we lack rather than what we have? My baby was able (for the moment) to glance around at his life and overflow in thankfulness for a God who abundantly provides.

Colossians 2:6-7 (NIV) urges believers to do the same, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”

What a beautiful example of this was demonstrated in living color before my eyes. He had absorbed the blessings around him to the point he could no longer contain it in his little heart. He spilled over with thankfulness and it unveiled the lack of thankfulness in my own weary soul.

Too often, burdened by the cares of the world and life in general, I focus on the negative rather than pour out words of praise and thanksgiving to my God. Based on the example of my little one, I am seeking to empty pitchers of praise before the feet of my Heavenly Father.

As this season of Thanksgiving approaches, let’s shift our focus and allow our own weary hearts to be lead by a child (Isaiah 11:6b) as we thank our faithful God for the many blessings around us — both big and small. Then we can rest peacefully in His care!

Copyright © 2009 Mariel Davenport. Used by permission.

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