“In the Christian community thankfulness is just what it is anywhere else in the Christian life. Only he who gives thanks for little things receives the big things. We prevent God from giving us the great spiritual gifts He has in store for us, because we do not give thanks for daily gifts. We think we dare not be satisfied with the small measure of spiritual knowledge, experience, and love that has been given to us, and that we must constantly be looking forward eagerly for the highest good. Then we deplore the fact that we lack the deep certainty, the strong faith, and the rich experience that God has given to others, and we consider this lament to be pious. We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts. How can God entrust great things to one who will not thankfully receive from Him the little things? If we do not give thanks daily for the Christian fellowship in which we have been placed, even where there is no great experience, no discoverable riches, but much weakness, small faith, and difficulty; if on the contrary, we only keep complaining to God that everything is so paltry and petty, so far from what we expected, then we hinder God from letting our fellowship grow according to the measure and riches which are there for us all in Jesus Christ.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together
I recently picked up “Life Together” again and was reminded how much I have, even in circumstances where my community has felt at times insufficient. I was thinking today how grateful I am for the small things, especially the small people in my life. This time last year, Micah wouldn’t put his head under the water, Avery was learning basic nouns, and Ella was crawling. It’s nuts how quickly things seem to change. It’s a privilege being a part of their little lives, which speaks volumes about the kind of people their parents are to invite me in to their life and home. They are the people who pray with and for me, who talk through the hard things, who make me breakfast for dinner and mashed cauliflower. They are my second family, with the little stinkers that I start to miss after two or three days. They are the tangible realization how much I need the Church, how much the Church needs me.
I got off work early today and met Ang at the pool with the kiddos and swam and ate popcorn, and got splashed, and burned (sorry Mom. Love you.) Angela needed to change so I was the sneaky sitter who insisted they needed to hold hands. It’s funny how kids look at you like you’re nuts but they do it anyway. I get a kick out of that. They held hands and for 6.7 seconds, this clan was in one place looking in the same direction. Melts my heart. Here’s the young part of my Jeff City community:
I’m headed to St. Louis tomorrow for a week to do video work for The Project and to hopefully get to catch up with some friends and ministry partners that I haven’t seen in a long time. If you would like to follow my adventures, follow me on Instagram! My username is kankl.