The children came home for Thanksgiving. Their Father was waiting in the driveway. He was so glad to see them! The smile on His Face went from ear to ear, as He saw each one getting out of their car.
Child Number One yelled, “Hi Dad! Is dinner ready?”
The Father held open His Arms, anticipating the hugs He was sure would follow. But there were no hugs.
Child Number One added, “I’m glad to see You, Dad. I’ve got a problem I need You to fix.”
Child Number Two interrupted, “I’ve got a bunch of problems I need to talk to You about.”
Child Number Three caught up to the other two. “You all need to wait. I’ve got a really serious problem. I need Dad worse than you do.”
Child Number Four said, “Don’t be so selfish. I’ve got a list of things I need to talk to Dad about. I am not asking for myself. They are all from my friends. I promised them I would get Dad to work on them right away.”
Child Number Five said, “Hey, I should get priority. Dad can tell you I never bother Him unless I’ve got an emergency. So I haven’t really talked to Him since last year.”
Child Number Six said, “Well, you all can wait. I really don’t need Dad to do anything for me. I just need Him to tell me how to fix a few things and then I can take care of things myself.”
The Father opened His Mouth to respond to Child Number Six, but Child Number Six was still talking. The Father couldn’t get a Word in edgewise.
Child Number Six stormed off toward his car.
“I don’t know why I even tried to talk to Him. He never answers me.”
Child Number Seven pushed his way to the front of his siblings.
“Dad, you know I’m organized. I need You too. And I’ve got a list here of what I need You to do. All You have to do is sign it.”
Child Number Eight looked at his watch.
“You guys just don’t understand Dad. If you want Him to do what you want, you’ve got to catch Him at the right time and place. And He really responds when you say what you want in just the right way. I think what we need to do here is go down to the church at 6 o’clock and ask Him there. I think we’ve got just enough time to eat Thanksgiving dinner before we go. What do You say, Dad?”
Where Did Dad Go?
It was quiet. The Father stood near by. His Heart and Hands were open, but His Children were still talking among themselves.
A few minutes more passed before the Father’s Children noticed He was not on the front porch anymore. They were puzzled.
The Real Homecoming!
But there was one more child. Child Number Nine had quietly arrived. Child Number Nine had now entered the house with her Father.
“Dad, I could hardly wait to see You! I love our time together. There’s nowhere I would rather be than with You. I’m so thankful for You. And I want to thank You for all the wonderful Gifts You have given Me.”
The Father gathered her into His Arms in a Holy Hug. He told her how much He loved her and how pleased He was that she was His Daughter.
They spent some time together, just remembering the Times of her Life and how they had been together for every one. They laughed and cried together. They sang and danced together. And then He showed her the table of delicious food He had prepared for her.
Life On The Porch
The other eight children stood outside and wondered why the Father had not invited them in. They seemed not to notice the open door. They began to ponder whether they should grab a bite to eat at a fast food place before they went to the church.
Points to Ponder
1. Have you ever felt like you were on the front porch and God was inside? Have you ever wondered why other people seem to actually get an audience with Him, but you don’t?
2. When you pray, are your prayers ever similar to the way this Father’s eight children approached Him?
3. Do you ever say a prayer that does not include what you want God to do for you? How many of your prayers are “wish lists” that have little thanksgiving and praise to God for what He has already provided for you?
4. David, the Psalmist, who was called a Man after God’s Own Heart, knew how to come into the Presence of His Father.
Let us come into His Presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise!
If you want to get off the front porch and into the Presence of God, come into His Presence with thanksgiving and with praise!
5. Does God require our giving thanks, like a ticket to get into His Show? No!
Beginning with thanksgiving for all He is and all He has done is His Gift to us! It fills our soul with the music of faith! When we remember how He has been with us all through our lives and protected us, guided us, provided for us and brought us to this moment, we can only conclude that He is still very present and will do the same things for us out of His Great Heart of Love.
6. What about praise? Does God have to be flattered to listen to us? No! But when we thank Him for all He has done, we realize all He is! Praise is a natural response to giving thanks!!
7. Does God allow requests? Or do I have to just stick to giving thanks and praising Him? God is glad to listen and talk to you about any request you have.
Pray all the time.
Ask God for anything in line with the Holy Spirit’s Wishes.
Plead with Him, reminding Him of your needs,
and keep praying earnestly for all Christians everywhere.
But, to enter His Presence, start with thanksgiving and praise. You may find you were not nearly as needy as you thought you were! You may find when you are in His Presence, many of your needs have already been met!
Enter into Your Father’s Presence with Thanksgiving and with Praise, and then just enjoy your time with God.
Look back on your Life and reminisce with God. He’s been with you every step of the way!
Like Child Number Nine, you may find yourself laughing, crying, singing and dancing!
And oh yes, did I mention … God is a Great Cook! He’s already set the table just for you!
Join Another of God’s Thankful Children!
If you want a jump start on giving thanks to The Father, join David the Psalmist. Read Psalm 23 and let it soak into your spirit. David even mentioned the food!
Because the Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need!
He lets me rest in the meadow grass
and leads me beside the quiet streams.
He gives me new strength.
He helps me do what honors Him the most.
Even when walking through the dark valley of death,
I will not be afraid,
for You are close beside me,
guarding, guiding all the way.
You provide delicious food for me
in the presence of my enemies.
Your goodness and unfailing kindness shall be with me
all of my life,
and afterwards I will live with You forever in Your Home!