Working with kids is always surprising and many times is humbling too. One of the highlights of my year is getting to meet with and co-teach our children who are going through the Communicant membership process. We meet with them monthly and each time we meet, I find that their answers challenge, encourage or convict me in some way. This past week was no exception.
Before we got the class started, I was asking the kids what they were thankful for. One child answered, “my family.” I’ve found in my years of working with kids, that’s a fairly typical answer. The next answer was much less typical and quite honestly, more profound. This child’s answer was, “air.” At first pass, this sounded like a cute answer, but when I came home and thought about it, I realized that this child was really on to something.
Romans 11:36 sheds some light on why we should be thankful for even the air we breathe. It says, “For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever.” Everything we have, down to the air we breathe is from God. He owns the entire universe. It all comes through him; every single thing in this universe. He holds everything together and keeps it running. We only exist and have air to breathe because it comes through God, the sustainer of all things. And all things in this universe, including all of us breathers of air, exist for him. We exist for God’s good pleasure as a part of his grand design to bring Him glory.
So yes, this Thanksgiving, like this ten-year-old child, I too am thankful for air. Our glorious God, the owner and sustainer of the universe, has given air to me and has given me life for another day. He, who holds the whole world in his hands and sustains it all, wants me to be a part of this vast universe. As he gives me air to breathe; he gives me purpose and meaning that far exceeds anything I could dream up for myself: to bring him glory.
You see, being thankful for air is being thankful for life, belonging, and purpose. This Thanksgiving what are you thankful for? You might ask a ten-year-old this question for inspiration!
Karen Jacobsen is the Director of Children’s Ministry and Refuge 686, a foster and adoption care ministry.