Last week, my daughter collided with a wall during a game in our church gym. According to her, a marshmallow was to blame.
The people around her said they heard the impact, and they ran for two things: her parents and some ice.
By the time I saw her, she’d already been well cared for and sat with a bag of ice pressed against her forehead.
Her dad did a quick Internet search on signs of a concussion and gently quizzed her. “Do you feel nauseous? Dizzy? Sleepy?”
That’s when she started crying again, more out of fear than pain. A “concussion” sounded serious and scary and just really bad.
She needed some reassurance, that’s all . Everything was okay. Her lump might turn a few different colors over the next few days, but really, everything was just fine.
Still, she kept the ice on her forehead for the whole drive home and even during our family prayer time, where we all took turns asking God to hep her feel better.
Then, we let her cuddle on the couch a little bit longer than usual before sending her off to sleep.
It was about four a.m. when she showed up next to my bed in the darkness and told me she’d had a bad dream and could she turn on the radio?
That’s not what she really wanted, though. What she really wanted was for me to walk with her back through the dark house, turn on the radio for her and watch her climb back into bed to be sure she was safe. I prayed for her once again before she went back to sleep and that’s when she said it, the words on her heart in the middle of the night at the end of a scary day:
“Thanks for taking care of me, Mom.”
Others had actually done far more significant things to take care of her.
Her church leaders got her dad right away and fixed up her bag of ice. Her dad made sure she didn’t have a concussion and didn’t need to go to the emergency room.
My primary job had been one of reassurance. I’m even the one who made her go to school the next day.
But I love how she thanked me for little things that meant a whole lot to her.
And I’m feeling challenged to be so thankful.
Sometimes my focus is just on the big needs or crises or worries, the stresses that are significant enough to warrant a spot in my prayer journal.
In all that obsession with what I need, I can forget to notice or even say thanks for everyday grace and for God’s acts of kindness toward me.
What if we took a break from the “big” and the “significant” and noticed God at work in our lives in the small today?
What if we told Him, “Thanks for taking care of me, God”?
After all, Jesus was the Lord, able to heal leprosy, blindness, deafness, and even able to raise the dead.
But He was also the Lord, who turned water into wine at a party and multiplied a meal for a hungry crowd on a hillside.
He cared about the details and loved people enough to bless them with acts of abundance.
Maybe on our happy days when our lives are loaded down with blessings, that’s just the time to offer God thanks even for the small so that His goodness isn’t overlooked or overshadowed.
And maybe it’s on our hard days, when we’re feeling empty, denied, betrayed, alone and afraid, maybe right then is the precise moment to tell Him, “Thanks for taking care of me in all these little ways, God.”
But thank you, Lord, for taking care of me today. And I know you’ll care for me again tomorrow, in everything I face.
It changes our focus and our heart. It calms our fears and broadens our focus so that we can see God at work and so that we can choose to trust Him with our need.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
3 who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103:5