“Papa God, thank You for construction vehicles, how they dig and move dirt and build big roads! Thank You for boo-boos, that You can heal them! Thank You for my sister and that she’ll be here soon to play with!”
This is a typical prayer of my son: thank you, thank you, thank you! In his young brain, he doesn’t feel the annoyance of road construction but only the wonder and power of big trucks and the joy that he gets to see their progress first hand. He doesn’t feel the fear that his latest injury will cause long term damage or pain; rather, he fully anticipates God’s care and healing of his hurt. And he doesn’t stress the endless hours of adoption paperwork and delay after delay of the process not progressing like it’s “supposed to”; instead, He fully trusts that God will bring his precious and already beloved sister home to him, and he is already dreaming of all the ways that they’ll play together.
Ah, the faith of a child, the peace of full assurance of God’s provision and promise, the joy of gratitude in the waiting. How would my life change if I viewed it through the eyes of my son? How much joy and peace and excitement would I find in letting go of what’s out of my control and simply basking in gratitude for how greatly God has blessed me. Studies have shown that by simply listing 3 things a day that you’re grateful for, you can greatly increase your happiness and decrease your stress. And with God’s abundant blessing on my life, surely I can come up with more than just 3 a day! With freshly paved roads that assure safety as I drive and scars (physical and emotional) that show how I’ve been healed and the opportunity to grow my family, surely I can think of more than 3 things to thank Him for!
Rather than complaining about the laundry piling up or the house that constantly needs cleaning or stressing finding time to cook dinner, I can praise Him for clothes to wear and a warm house to live in with an abundance of toys for our family to enjoy and for always having a full belly. Rather than complain about early mornings with a sleepless toddler, discovering a pile of dog poop in the kitchen, or the forever falling snow, I can choose to praise Him for a few extra hours to snuggle with my little buddy, for a four-legged companion who offers both loyalty and protection, and for the beauty of His creation in all seasons. What can you thank God for today? How will you choose gratitude over complaining this month?
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7
Sharon is a jack of all trades at Beacon. In addition to doing play therapy and seeing clients, she also supervises interns and heads up our communications. In her free time, you’ll find Sharon running, baking treats, and tracking down corny jokes.