God is great; God is good.
Let us thank Him for our food.
I stumbled onto a piece recently that was written by a self-described "secular" person. She was writing about the positive difference it had made both in her life and in that of her family when they began saying a blessing at mealtimes. It was clear that her notion of prayer and blessing wasn't quite the same as mine, but that isn't really the point here. She wrote very candidly and movingly about the positive impact on her busy, noisy life to pause and to be grateful for good things.
She's right, you know. When that sense of appreciation for all the positives in your life is coupled with praise to the One who has provided them, you have ...
- Meaningful prayer.
- A clearer sense of self.
- A moment of appreciation to the Deity who is the giver of every good gift.
- An affirmation that God's grace is real to you.
Our son was about four years old, and it was his turn to say a prayer of thanksgiving over our lunch. With open-face sandwiches on our plates, he folded his hands and began:
"Deah God, we fank fee ..." (Note: He wasn't doing well with his r-words and th-words at four! But back to the prayer ...)"Deah God, we fank fee foh de bwead and de tomato ..." (Another Note: Yes, he was peeking! But back to the prayer ...)"And we fank fee foh de meat and foh ... and foh ..." (Final Note: He knew what lettuce was, but it just wouldn't come to him at that critical moment. So he pointed his still-folded hands toward it and continued to pray ...)"And foh dis stuff. Amen."
And I've been telling the story ever since.
So let a woman of what may be marginal faith remind all of us this week about food and air, friends and work, sunshine and rain. All are blessings we did not create. It is good to recognize them as gifts and to be thankful. It makes it even more natural in stressful times to go to that same God to name life's hurts and pains and to ask for aid — without feeling guilty as a thankless beggar.
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done (Philippians 4:6 NLT).