Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the
Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change
like the shifting of the shadows. James 1:17
Yesterday I had a lovely surprise, a mid-morning visit from my son Jeffrey. Due to our work schedules this never happens but it did and it was delightful. Normally when I see Jeffrey there are at least three children (his) around and usually more along with more adults. It is a rare and precious thing to spend time with anyone of my four children and be able to just sit and chat.
While we were chatting Jeffrey was telling me about praying with his wife and children, Isabelle who is eight, Samuel who is seven and Abigail who is three. We’d been talking about taking some pretty big blessings for granted and Jeffrey shared with me how Samuel’s prayers had humbled him a bit and shed a light on what should be obvious to all of us.
Samuel is a practical child and he is still very much a child. He is delighted by things too many of us take for granted. He is still at an age where is something is funny once, it’s probably hilarious on the fortieth repetition. Samuel’s laugh or more accurately giggle is extremely contagious. In short, he’s all boy and just precious. Apparently he is also aware that all good things come from above. Jeffrey shared with me that Samuel’s nightly prayers always include one of thanksgiving for the good food he received through the day. Jeffrey’s take on that is that a blessing over our meals is something Samuel has experienced his entire life and so believes that all prayers should contain that thought. Maybe….
What touched Jeffrey’s heart and subsequently mine, is how great that prayer really is. We are as my son pointed out, Americans (read spoiled). We take food, clothing and shelter as a given. No one in our family is wealthy. We’re all somewhere in the upper lower to lower middle class range but again, in America. We all have at least one vehicle. We all have nice homes. We’re all fed, every day, several times a day and we just expect that. All of us, it seems, except Samuel.
There is the expression, out of the mouths of babes and it is so true. By thanking God for his food, not at the table when it’s right in front of him but later, after teeth are brushed and there is no chance of one more chicken leg (one of his favorites) or another treat, Samuel is still grateful that he was fed and fed well. He’s seven and God bless him, he gets it in ways those of us who are older and “wiser” have forgotten.
I see myself as a fairly grateful person. I count my blessings several times a day and keep record of them. Still my little Samuel made me aware of how deep, wide and precious is the love of God, lavished on us, His children, His selfish, self-centered, undeserving children.
We should all be thankful in the extreme for those things we see as simple facts of life. I am currently sitting in front of my computer, that is to say one of several in this house. My house… with the pool in the backyard, the well stocked kitchen, the working air conditioner and the fairly new furniture. I stepped out of my own bed on my own steam this morning and I’m breathing. On top of that, yesterday I had a surprise visit from my youngest son and a planned visit with my oldest son and youngest grandson. God is good all the time and all the time, we should acknowledge Him.