As we prepare for our back to school week, I find myself reminding my daughters–and myself–that we are already seated at the best table with Jesus. We talk about Ephesians 2 because it’s so easy to compare our lives, live with the kind of envy that “rots the bones” (Proverbs 14:30), and forget that we are exactly where we are supposed to be because we’re here, seated with Christ. You can invite children to picture their seat with Jesus (Ephesians 2:6) and think about how secure, loved, and included they are.
We also talk about our job when we don’t know what to do. Our job is cultivating thankful hearts.
It’s worship. Consider 1 Thessalonians 5:18 as a life goal: “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” It’s hard to be thankful and also stressed out. It’s hard to be thankful and focused on your problems. It’s hard to be thankful and also jealous. Choosing a thankful heart–and also asking God to give you a thankful heart with deep contentment–gives us a great task for this day.
Can you imagine the kind of person you could be if you were thankful in all circumstances because you knew how to see divine activity and experience God’s love all the time?
But starting school is stressful. It is scary. I remind my daughters that they are in the fortress of God’s guarding care. I even text my daughter a picture of a beautiful castle to remind her how safe her soul is in the great care of God. He guards us “in all our ways” (Psalm 91:11).
If you are a caregiver today, you can remind children that they are seated with Jesus, especially when they walk into that lunchroom and feel alone or nervous. You can also remind children that they have a great task of finding things to thank God for. Finally, you can tell them they are guarded by Christ and in the fortress of His care.
Seated and guarded. And always, always, thankful.