By Adela Hufford, business process analyst at Goshen College
Reprinted from Lenten Devotions
Parenting has taught me just as much about my relationship with God as it has about my relationship with my son, Garrett. I feel sadness and pain when I see him struggle with making wise choices and ultimately choosing something other than what I wanted for him. I am struck with the notion, “Is this how God feels about me when I make unwise choices?” But I also feel an incredible surge of euphoria when Garrett offers me genuine thankfulness or praise about something I have done. And again I think, “Does God’s heart swell when I offer up a thankful heart?”
The Psalmist provides prayer in the form of thanksgiving and praise, recognizing God’s mercy and restoration in our lives by jubilantly sharing “O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever!” both at the beginning and the end of the Psalm. My desire to create a similar attitude of thankfulness in Garrett calls on me to identify with him the many blessings we’ve been given and to demonstrate a thankful heart. We often pray at bedtime: “God, thank you for our house. Thank you for a bed to sleep in. Thank you for plenty of food to eat and clothes to wear. Amen.”
I am challenged though, to help Garrett, and ultimately help myself, acknowledge that our prayers of thanksgiving and praise can and should seep in to our everyday lives and not be limited by our routines, but become routine. Despite our circumstances, there is much to be thankful for and God deserves that pause whenever we are presented with a blessing.
Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29 (NRSV)