As the eggs steamed under my nose, I reached across the table to grab my toddler’s hand. It was a normal day of saying grace before we would break the fast, and yet my toddler refused to take my hand. Instead he held firmly to his fork and said, “No God. Eat.” I sat stunned alongside my husband as we each took in this moment of rebellion.
It was in that moment I got a glimpse of my soul – a soul lacking in gratitude for the gifts given.
My husband explained to our two year old that we need to thank God for the food because without Him we’d have nothing. We’d be hungry all the time.
My boy’s chin stuck out in determination, he grabbed the plate with both hands, and looked up with an “if you dare” expression.
How often do I find myself grasping my gifts too tightly? How often do I confuse the very gifts of God with my rights? How often when my gift is removed because He has the right to give and take away do I give Him the look of “if you dare?”
We then removed little boy’s plate, prying one little finger away at a time, and explained again that saying thank you to God was the very least we could do to show our gratitude for the gift of food. My husband explained that obedience was the key to receiving back his plate, and we proceeded to attempt to say grace again.
I wonder how often it might be that God removes gifts for the sole purpose of teaching gratitude? Gifts He is happy to return once our hearts turn back to Him?
As the eggs lay cold and solid, we took hands and my toddler boy said grace:
God, thank you for this food. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
We ate cold eggs and sausage for breakfast – the gift not tasting as sweet in the wake of rebellion. But it was a moment of grace, of learning, of seeing my soul laid bare through a toddler. And a lesson in gratitude that I will soon not forget.