Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Does your prayer sound like this?

In the Civil War movie, Shenandoah, Jimmy Stewart plays a widower of a large family. He is a cranky man with high confidence in his own ability. Because of a promise made to his wife before her death, Stewart prays at the beginning of each meal. The prayer goes like this: “Lord, we cleared this land, we plowed it, we planted it, we harvested the crops, and we fixed the food. We worked till we were dog-boned-tired. None of this would be here if weren’t for us, but thank you anyway. Amen.”

If you are like me there are times where this perspective is my primary mode of operation. I know that my life and all I have is from God, but in my heart I often carry a sense of entitlement. I harbor a sense that it is really through my own effort and hard work that what I experience in life has been accomplished. But in reality all I might accomplish can be gone in an instant.

In the movie, it doesn’t take long for Stewart to begin to see things in a much different way. By the end, he has lost a daughter during childbirth and a son to the war. In addition, he is finally re-united with another son after he was held as a prisoner during the war. As he and this youngest son are embracing, the scene closes as they stand in church and sing, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.”

This holiday season comes with a variety of emotions for each person. Some are reflective about the past year and celebrating all that has taken place, while others are grieving over those who will not be present at this year’s Thanksgiving table. For some it may be difficult to proclaim praise to God from whom all blessings flow. It may be hard to see God’s gifts to you. Just like in the movie, sometimes it takes a long period of time to see God’s plan.

Wherever your story finds you at this point in life may you know that our God is a God who “will never leave you or forsake you”, and that in both the good times and the bad he is a God that is worthy of all of our praise.

1 comment:

Cherie Estes said...

That movie is one of my all-time favorites!!