I also remember that I never once ask 'why?' God's plans are bigger and better than anything I can comprehend, and although I may not understand it always I never once asked WHY. Why Haiti? Why those children? Why those families? Why that country? I believe God was there, I believe God IS there. I met Him there several times. And as I remember my friends and family in Haiti today I remember to be thankful.
As the youth leader for the Jr. High kids at our church I thought, what better way to share what I was feeling today than with an activity for the kids. We played a game that you had to say, "I am thankful for...." and whatever you said the next person had to have a word that started with the last letter of the word you said. (totally confused?) For example, if you said "I am thankful for school" then the next person would have to come up with something that started with the letter L because school ends with L.
I shared scripture with the kids about being Thankful to God. In all times, for all things. Everything comes from God and everything works for the good for those who believe! (one of my favorite verses) As I tried to point out to them how some people in the world live on less than $1.00 a day and don't have luxuries that we take for granted I just didn't think they were ever going to get it.
As I pointed out how God's people in some countries don't have a closet full of designer clothes, shoes for their feet, running water to shower with, a bathroom with a toilet that flushes.... I was met with eeews and that's gross! ;) So we started playing our little game. Trying to drive my point home.
I almost felt like nothing I had said made sense. As they randomly gave their words.... "skateboards, snow, skittles, dogs, lipgloss, Razr phones" I got a few choice words I was looking for, like "electricity, mom, shampoo". So, all was not lost.
Youth has been rough for me lately. Working with kids that have no clue why they are at church (it's an escape from their homelife that is less than ideal). Days I feel like I'm running interference at a juvenile detention center, fist fights and all. So tonight was actually something I looked forward to as I had a small class (due to the weather and snow days!). Five of the 'good' kids. But after listening to their answers I still felt like I was getting no where, even with the 'good ones'.
Then I came home, to read updates and see what's going on in the world of my bloggy/facebook friends all around the world. (literally..... TN, love my southern girls! ;) Haiti, Uganda, Florida, TX) I saw updates from Rachel that reminded me all of the kids' answers were perfect!!! You see, Rachel and her husband recently returned from Africa with their new daughter, and while looking at some of her photo updates of her little girl's FIRSTS it hit me. I needed to remember my own words to the kids. Be thankful for EVERYTHING, for all things come from God. Seeing little A's first trip to the ocean, her first bite of an oreo cookie, the look on her face as her sister's explained peanut butter and waffles. Be still my heart. We can be thankful for skittles, and lipgloss, snow and skateboards. Do you remember the first time you tasted a skittle? Can you recall the first chance you had to play in the snow? Oh the wonder! We truly do need to remember:
“I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.
And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Always be thankful for the many blessings we experience. No matter how great or small. Always remember that others may not be as blessed to have the same things. Pray for them. Pray for God's peace, His healing hand, His comfort for them. I remember my friends in Haiti today, as I know they are thankful. Thankful to have survived. To have moved on. Thankful to be alive and they are praising God all the while. Wanting nothing more than to serve others and love them, because HE first loved us. Oh how shameful for me not to be thankful for the kids' answers. Praising God and giving Him thanks for my group of kids. ALL of them. ♥ The good, the bad and the forgotten.
If you're interested, this was my post a year ago....