Finding the Art in Everything

25 November, 2010

Thank You For This World

Whenever I tuck her in, or when it is her turn at dinner, Faith prays. I love to hear Faith pray because she hits all the important things every time.

"Thank you for Mommy, Daddy, Kaeyln, Tyler, Zack and (recently) Jess. Thank you for Jesus. Thank you for my grandparents and friends. Thank you for this world. Please heal the sick people. Please take care of Kafui. Please bless us. Amen."

I am always struck by "Thank you for this world." I think the rest of us, especially Christians, spend a lot of time discouraged by this world. In this world, there is violence and poverty and sickness. We watch the news and ponder the kind of world that creates and contains those circumstances. We tend to despair.
Faith is six years old. To her the world is not only what is on the news. To her, the world affords trees to climb, friends on the block, and her dog Harley. It is full of wonder and mystery and excitement.

It would be easy to dismiss Faith's gratitude as naiveté because of how little she is. But look at the rest of Faith's prayer: "Please heal the sick people. Please take care of Kafui." She's aware of suffering and sickness. Kafui is the child their Sunday school sponsors from Africa. She know's he's hungry and dependent on them. This is not the prayer of a little girl who doesn't know any better.

It's Thanksgiving today. Faith's prayer reminds us to be thankful for more today than that we (or most of us) are carnivores. We are thankful for the food, family, and friends, sure. We are thankful for God's abundant provision this year.

But as Faith points out, we can be thankful for this world. We are thankful for this world for a couple of reasons. First, Psalm 24 says

"The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it,

the world, and all who live in it;

2for he founded it upon the seas

and established it upon the waters."

Everything that is God's is good. We can be thankful for the world because it is God's and He made it.

It is true that there are things in the world that God didn't make and that do indeed break His heart. We can also be thankful for the otherwise discouraging parts of this world because they turn our eyes heavenward. They keep us from thinking this world is our home, and permit us to rejoice in the ongoing redemption taking place around us. We have hope in the brokenness because God loves the World and has a plan to redeem it.

Ultimately, on Thanksgiving, let us be thankful for this World. Let us be thankful God loved it, and that He is and has been constantly working on its redemption.

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