About two months ago, I bought a small throw pillow for a chair in my home. The pillow displayed the word thankful in large gold letters. I had a mission for that pillow. Every time I walked by the chair, the pillow would remind me to think of things I was thankful for. My plan worked for a few days. I would walk past the chair and briefly consider one or two pleasant things that had happened that day. But all too soon, the pillow became both literally and figuratively part of the furniture. I had happened to choose the chair where everything tends to land at the end of the day—my purse, a book or two, the mail, and so on. And as the days passed, my plan got covered up by the busyness of life, just like the word on that pillow.
The other day, after clearing off the chair, I sat looking at the pillow and thinking about my plan gone awry. That’s when I realized that maybe the plan had been tragically flawed from the beginning. After all, it’s not enough to be thankful for without being, first and foremost, thankful to. My hastily muttered prayers of thanks for this and that blessing as I dash past a pillow are not really what God wants. He wants me to sit down and take time. He doesn’t necessarily want me to tabulate all the ways He has added pleasantness to my life. But He does want me to know Him and thank Him for who He is. He wants me to love the Giver infinitely more than the gifts.
It’s only when I’m being thankful to that I can properly be thankful for. When I’ve taken time to meditate on God’s sovereignty, love, goodness, and wisdom, I can filter everything that happens to me through the lens of His attributes. I can rest my head on a pillow of thankfulness—even when the burdens and problems of life multiply or when nothing about my day stands out as a singular blessing. I can be thankful for anything that draws me closer to the God I am thankful to.
Look for ways you can be Sharing God’s Good Works with your children.