Friday, March 20, 2009

My son has a rather amusing way of asking me to carry him up the stairs when he is being lazy. He will turn to me, raise his hands and say "Xie xie" ("thank you"). Sometimes I find it manipulative, but most of the time, it is quite endearing.

I starting thinking about this a few days ago and realized that it is a fitting picture of how we should be approaching our Father with our requests. I heard a good sermon once about how faith and thankfulness are connected. The basic gist is that a person who says "thank you" recognizes that the work that took place or the gift that was given did not come from themselves. Jesus looked up, gave thanks and broke bread for thousands of people.

God has given us an open door to approach Him with our needs and our desires. It is quite simple, really. We just need to approach Him with our requests and say "thank you" trusting that what He chooses to do with those requests will be for our own good.

My responses to my son vary from time to time. Sometimes I say 'no' because I think it is good for him to not be lazy and make me work for him - Perhaps God might likewise say 'no' because he recognizes the selfishness of our motives. (Sometimes I say 'no' because I am unable to carry him at the moment, but God doesn't have that limitation!) Sometimes, rather than carry him, I hold his hand and help him along. Very often I feel like this is God's response. I know He wants me to grow and mature, so rather than remove the obstacle, He is right there beside me the whole time, supporting me. Finally, I very often DO carry my son because I love him; I know he wants to be close to me and I know there are a lot of steps for little legs. Likewise, God knows our weaknesses and He is there to carry us when we just can't seem to make it anymore. Through it all, our hands should be raised to him and our voices saying "xie xie".

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