Surprised By Thanks

November 25, 1999

1 Thessalonians 5:18 – Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.(NIV)

Teaching Sunday School is a challenging yet rewarding task. At our church we teach six weeks on, six weeks off. Although, I love to teach, I also look forward to my time in the pew! The Sunday before Thanksgiving Day was my last Sunday to teach in my six-week unit. I am not proud of it but my attitude leaned toward, "I'll just get this day out of the way."

The lesson for this particular Sunday was a struggle because I had to find something else to do because I didn't particularly like the entire lesson suggested by our curriculum, about "Sharing our Blessings". The one thing I did like was the idea to make cookies with the class and take them to the local community kitchen. I needed a craft to occupy the children while the cookies were baking. I had an idea, and while I was creating a model of the craft they would do, the following thoughts crept into my mind: "Making the cookies won't work"; "It'll be too messy"; "We won't have time to do both activities"; "Do I want to be bothered stopping at the community kitchen?"; "I've got to get to my mother's for turkey dinner right after church." For some reason by the end of preparing my lesson I had finally decided, yes, we would make the cookies.

We made two dozen chocolate chip cookies (it wasn't too messy and we had ample time!), and packaged them with a special label. It was my job to deliver them. I had never been to the community kitchen and, to tell the truth, the thoughts of going frightened me. I mustered up the courage and in I went, cookies in hand. I was directed to the man in charge. When I told him I had cookies that my Grade 1-2 Sunday School class had made, I am sure I saw a tear in his eye. Many thanks were given and as I was leaving it was hard not to notice the people who had come there for a meal. Suddenly I felt our two dozen cookies weren't enough. When I got back to the van, my legs were shaking. I began thinking over my life and felt ashamed that I sometimes complain that I never have any new clothes to wear, or that our family needs a second vehicle, or that we can't renovate the house right this minute….

God didn't want me to leave that activity out of my Sunday School lesson. I was incredibly humbled and stood in awe of how many of God's blessings I take for granted. I thank God for this opportunity and I wanted to share it.

Prayer: Dear heavenly and gracious Father, we are humbled by your awesome greatness, and pray that we never take for granted your many gifts to us, great and small. Remind us, O Lord, that we are to share our blessings with all your children. Challenge us to walk closer with you than ever before. In Jesus' name. Amen.

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About the author:

Deborah Waugh
Kennebunkport, Maine, USA

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