It has been fairly common in our family for the youngest child to delight in saying the blessing before meals. So for the last while, Timothy, our 4 year old, has often eagerly asked to say the blessing. His prayers have developed of course, moving first from unintelligible to intelligible and then adding and substituting topics. In the last few days a new item has appeared in his prayers. He has begun, in his list of things for which he gives thanks, saying, “Thank you for tomorrow.”
This was striking to me the first time I heard it and I am not sure what exactly he means by it. Most likely he has melded in a humorous way some different things he has heard us pray. But I have not corrected him. It is good theology whether he realizes it or not.
As I have pondered this little prayer it has prompted some edifying thinking on my part. It might seem presumptuous at first to thank God for what has not yet been given (perhaps contrary to James 4:13-16). And yet, such a prayer, intentionally stated, is not presumption but the confidence of hope. For tomorrow is already promised to all those who are in Christ. This tomorrow may occur in this life or the next, but it is sure. And no matter what hardship tomorrow may bring, God is there. To give thanks for what God is yet to do is to act in faith.
I find welling up within me, as Timothy prays, a joyful certainty and I am thankful because this day is not the end. There is a future and we give thanks to God for it because it comes from him. This is a proper prayer for those who believe in the resurrection.
I’m finding myself praying these words learned from my little boy.