If I was to look at my relationship with my baby daughter from a purely rational perspective, I would have to conclude that I should expect her to be very thankful for having me in her life. After all…
I created her (the ‘I’ of course includes my wife)
I provide a safe and comfortable place for her to live
I feed her
I clean up after her
I burp her, shortly followed by smiling as she throws up her lunch on my shoulder
I get up early for her
I organise toys and entertainment for her
I change her when she… you know!
…OK, so you get the picture…
But here’s the thing: I’ve never thought she should be thankful. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. I can’t stop thanking her. I can’t stop feeling myself so thankful.
What I’ve concluded is that my relationship with my daughter has nothing at all to do with her ‘works.’ (what she does or doesn’t do). I’m her father, she’s my child, and that is the basis of our relationship. Not works, but family.
It got me thinking about my heavenly Father. How many times have I assumed I should be thanking him for all he’s done, when he’s actually the one being thankful for having me?
God doesn’t relate with us on our works, just as I don’t relate to my daughter based on works. God relates with us based on family. We’re his children, and as crazy as it may sound, he’s the one who is thankful for having us, and perhaps it never even enters his mind to question if we are thankful or not. Perhaps he’s just too wrapped up in his unfailing love and adoration for us to worry about it.
When we allow God to be our Father, and let his love for us be all-consuming, then I can guarantee you we’ll all have no issues with our love and thankfulness to him. It’s a natural response.
So to my heavenly Father, a few final words: For every time you provided for me, feed me, cleaned up after me, burped me, shortly followed by a heavenly smile as I threw up on you, got up early for me and organised all my lovely toys and entertainment, and for all the times you changed me when I… you know!… I’d just like to say, you’re most welcome to have me as you child. I wouldn’t exchange you for the world. I love you Daddy!