In Everything Give Thanks

From early on, Caden have always taken prayer seriously. I remember one Sunday, Caden and I were sitting at the table preparing to eat lunch. Caden offered to pray over the meal before we ate and I happily accepted. To my surprise Caden went beyond his typical “God is good and God is great...” In all honestly, I would have prefered that prayer because after three services and only a single cup of coffee, I was h-u-n-g-r-y.

At some point during Caden’s long winded prayer I decided to open my eyes and sneak a bite of my lunch. Clearly, I wasn’t quiet enough because Caden yelled out, “M-O-M-M-Y, not yet, I’m still praying!” To add insult to injury, he gave me the eye at the end of his statement. With guilt written all over my face, I got back into my prayer posture with my hands clasped and eyes closed and endured the smell of the food while Caden continued praying for another few minutes. I’m telling you that food was fully sanctified by the time Caden finished praying and it was apparent that Caden was thankful for the food in front of him.

A few months later, while praying before bed, Caden went through his usual list of people in his life that he was thankful for. He started by thanking God for me and continued through a list of family and close friends. As I was preparing to say Amen because we were nearing the end of what had become a familiar list of people he was thankful for, Caden switched up on me and started to thank God for things. He started by saying “Thank you God for the bed and the pillows and the sheets.” I thought to myself, “he must really love this bed because he’s doing a special detour in his prayer”. But it didn’t stop there, Caden continued by saying, “Thank you God for the curtains and the couch and the television.” Again, I thought to myself, “he must love this apartment because his detour continues”. Well, before I could even make sense of his new found gratitude, Caden began thanking God for the food in the pantry and the dishes. Next thing I know he was thanking God for the pots and the pans. At that point I yelled “Amen, Amen, A-M-E-N” to the long winded, no end in sight prayer that had the possibility to go on forever. In response Caden said “Amen”, rolled over and went to bed.

As tired as I was, I stayed awake thinking about Caden’s prayers. Maybe Caden learned something that I still haven’t quite grasped; “In every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 amplified). I became so accustomed to having certain things, that I lost my sense of gratitude and appreciation.

Like me, many of us fall into this cycle where we begin to take for granted the everyday things in our lives. For some, it’s because you’re so engrossed with the day to day of life. For others, it's because you’re always looking for the next big move of God, for the next big blessing or for something good to happen to you in order to thank God. Many of us feel obligated to be thankful around this time, naturally so, because it is Thanksgiving. I would like to submit to you that God desires for us to always be in a state of thanksgiving. And Yes! That means sometimes we have to stop and thank God for the pots and the pans, the pillows and the sheets, the curtains and the couch.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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