Often when I hear the word Thanksgiving, I almost always want to partner it with the word Faith! I know that it is because of my faith that I have God’s guiding hand is on my shoulder as I move through my day. And by thanking God, I am humbling acknowledging that all that is good is a gift from Him and reaffirms to Him my gratitude.
We join hands and pray before eating together as a family. This is such an important ritual for us because as we join hands and bow our heads, we are sharing a wonderfully intimate moment, not only with each other, but with God as well.
I taught Sunday School to second graders many years ago and I knew that the things they were learning about the Bible and God’s message would be information they would carry with them for the rest of their lives. And during one class when I taught them the simple words of a grace they could say at the dinner table, a little one asked me why he should pray. Then I remembered a story I once heard when I was young and I used the same story to teach my class the importance of giving thanks to God by saying grace:
A Man Of Faith
A farmer who was a man of faith once had a cousin who did not believe in God come to visit
for a few days. At dinner, the farmer bowed his head and offered the same
prayer of thanks he had been taught as a child: “God is great, God is good, and we thank him for this food. By His hand
we all are fed; give us Lord our daily bread!” Now his cousin rudely replied “There is no God. We are
enlightened in this day and age!” And the farmer looked at him and replied, “There is one here on my farm that does
not give thanks before eating.” His cousin smiled and asked who this enlightened person was, to which the farmer replied, “My pig!”
The kids in my Sunday School class laughed but they got the message, loud and clear! Their parents came to me and told me that their children were reminding them to offer grace every day. And that was exactly the point….to instill an inner need to establish this important family tradition for thanking God every day! Children are sponges…..in a wonderful way!
And by thanking God in all circumstances we are fulfilling His will in our lives.
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