by Cindi McMenamin
“Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 CSB
My 3-year-old nephew, Escher, was praying for our breakfast just as we were about to go into Disneyland park. “Dear Disneyland Jesus, Thank you for our food and for family and for this day and for keeping us safe and healthy. Amen.”
Escher had been known to address God as “Dinosaur Jesus” after spending a day at the “Walking with Dinosaurs” exhibit after being enthralled with his new discovery. And on days when he learned his Cousin Dana and Auntie Cindi would be taking him to Disneyland again, his prayers were directed once again to “Disneyland Jesus.”
I couldn’t help but smile and think that little Escher was simply transferring the excitement of the blessing he was about to experience to the Blesser who was giving it. I commented to his mom shortly after, “Escher knows Jesus is Lord of the Dinosaurs and Lord over Disneyland, as well!!”
Little Escher’s prayer got me thinking. How easy it is for me, like a child, to pray to “Disneyland Jesus” – the giver of all good things. How wonderful, also, to pray to “Dinosaur Jesus” –who allows me the adventure of discovering new things. But could I just as easily – during the not-so-exciting times, and the downright painful times – pray “Dear Heartache Jesus” or “Dear Cancer Jesus” or “Dear Death-of-a-Loved One Jesus.” And yet, He is Lord over the disappointing days as well as the Disneyland days.
Scripture says ” Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17 CSB). That verse doesn’t mean that only the “good and perfect gifts” in our eyes (like Disneyland trips and grand adventures) are from God. But everything He allows into my life (including disappointment and pain) is a good and perfect gift, coming from my Father of insight and understanding who knows what is ultimately best for me.
How I want a simple, childlike faith that honors God as Lord over every good and exciting experience and yet trusts Him during the hurtful experiences, too. Can you thank your “Dear All-Knowing, All-Loving Jesus” for whatever He brings into your life today? Trust that as you walk into it, He is right there walking into it before you.
Thank you, Lord, for the Disneyland trips, the dinosaur discoveries, and the disappointments in life, as well. Thank You that just as You hear the prayer of a delighted boy about to make new discoveries, You see the tears of a disappointed heart about to learn to trust You more.
About the author: Cindi McMenamin is an award-winning writer and national speaker who helps women strengthen their relationship with God and others. She is the author of 16 books including When Women Walk Alone (more than 130,000 copies sold), God’s Whispers to a Woman’s Heart, Drama Free and When God Sees Your Tears. Cindi and her husband of 30 years live in Southern California, where their grown daughter enjoys her career job at Disneyland. For more on Cindi’s books and ministry, or to learn about her coaching services for writers, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.
Join the conversation: What have you thanked God for lately?