Let us give thanks for the simple comforts and pleasures we enjoy, merely by living in this country. Most of our daily blessings are true for all Americans, not all, but most. However, they are not the norm for most of the people in the rest of the world. The majority live on one to two American dollars a day. That is their daily reality.
Why we have these blessings and others do not, I do not know. I am flummoxed. We are certainly no more worthy than any other culture or nationality. Yet God in his mercy, because of his unmerited kindness, has bestowed them upon us.
Let us pause to thank him! Think about the gifts he has given!
We have electricity. We have running water that requires no filtering. We have indoor plumbing. Think of how life would be without these simple, often-taken-for-granted extravagant comforts. They are not realities in most other places.
We have food in our pantries and on our shelves. These came from grocery stores that are well stocked with an abundance, a plethora, a cornucopia of supplies. On Thanksgiving Day we sit around the table with loved ones or friends or neighbors eating a feast from which we will stagger away, stuffed to the gills.
Most days we don’t have to worry about where our next meal will come from. We walk to the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer, remove food, and prepare it. Often, we complain that we don’t know what to fix from all the foods we’ve stockpiled away.
This is not true for most of the rest of the human beings on the planet. They would love to have the difficulty of too many choices. Daily, they consume all the food they have, hoping they can acquire more food to fill their bellies tomorrow. It is not a certainty. Usually, this is not an American scenario.
We have free elections. We have elected representatives. We have freedom of speech and freedom of the press. We have freedom of religion. We have educational choices that include public education, chartered education, private education, and home education. Both boys and girls, men and women, can be educated. This is not the case for (yes, once more) most of the rest of the people on earth.
If we are sick, we have doctors and hospitals and medicines. Even if we cannot pay, they will treat us. We have a public healthcare safety net. We have medical flights and emergency rooms and well-staffed treatment centers. Again, not a reality elsewhere.
Today, start the holiday season right. Send a gift to someone who doesn’t have these many treasures. Consider supporting a struggling pastor or orphaned child in India. Buy a blanket. Help a young seminary student. Think about making that gift a monthly occurrence. It’s a way to share what we have with those who are suffering.
You’ll be glad you did. A thankful and generous heart is pleasing to God.
“They (those with an abundance) are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life” (1 Timothy 6:18-19 ESV).
“Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives” (Titus 3:14 NIV).