Photo by jpkwitter on Morgue File.
Tell us about a time when everything actually turned out exactly as you’d hoped.
Once upon a time, I would have considered such a prompt to be unlikely at best and impossible at worst. Or, I would have thought of it in terms of some major, herculean endeavor that had cosmic consequences. As I have gotten older, (I seem to be saying that a lot lately!), I have learned to appreciate the small things in life.
I think about a project at work. A project that is long and tedious to complete. But, once it is done it is such a relief to have it finished. It is a relief and blessing that it all works as it is supposed to work. Just yesterday I finished such a job. When it all worked as it was supposed to I thanked God for his blessing and help in seeing it completed. I have tried to make a habit of doing this.
I also think about things like giving the girls a bath or having them ready for bed. Usually my wife gives them their bath. Sometimes they go willingly to the tub and are ready to bathe and play; other times, not so much! Sometimes you have to practically threaten them to take a bath. They cry and moan and groan. They sit on ash heaps and pour ashes atop their heads. They rent their garments in twain and sing dirges and speak laments and . . . okay, maybe it is not that extreme! But, it seems apocalyptic some nights!
So, when the bath time goes smoothly. When there is little screaming or fighting over bath toys; then, you feel a major accomplishment!
Same for bedtime. Sometimes it is nice and easy, other times it is a wrestling match. Those nights when they go quietly and willingly to bed and soon fall fast asleep, you feel that the whole world is in perfect balance and peace!
I know none of this is monumental to the history of humanity, but it is quite significant to our family’s life. Sanity is sometimes a delicate balancing act! It is like a bubble balanced on a blade of grass, delicate and at any moment it could burst!
So, be thankful and grateful for those small victories. Be thankful when the little things work out, because when they don’t, they tend to impact the bigger things. Be thankful, as parents, for a little peace and quiet late at night or early in the morning. Be thankful for nice and tidy bath times and sleep times.
But, most of all, be thankful for your kids no matter what. Even if they are screaming and crying and groaning and complaining. Even if they are being temperamental and unreasonable. Be thankful for them. Be thankful for their health and their ability to express themselves, even when it causes you headaches!
One thing God has continually taught me is that I should praise him, not only when the projects go right, but even when they do not. Either way, God is worthy of praise. It is easy to say Hallelujah when it all works out, when there is peace and quiet; it is not so easy when it is all crumbling down around you. Yet, even then, Christ is worthy of our adoration and praise. Besides, only God knows what he may be teaching us during those more complicated moments in life.
In everything gives thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (I Thess. 5.18)