Today on the way home from small group the Lord reminded me of a story. It was a story of when I was thankful for very little. I was in college, a small Bible school, and because we had several internationals who came to this school there many times that those students had no where to go during holiday breaks. So the school always tried real hard to make things a little easier for them by finding a family for them to stay with or doing something on campus during the school break. Well, it just so happened to be near Thanksgiving break and the cafeteria decided to do a Thanksgiving dinner right before everyone went off. Honestly, I think about the meal now...and its nothing I would have cooked. It was cut turkey and/or beef (which wasn't organic), mashed potatoes that could have very well came from a box or were at least bought pre-made, and some cooked cut carrots...you know the ones...the ones with the ridges already perfectly cut into them. Yeah, certainly nothing fresh. But as I sat with my plate in front of me, starring at the abundance of food I had been given to eat, my heart grew glad. It was so glad that I began to cry. Yes, right there. And as my friends who were sitting with me wondered what was wrong, it dawned on me that I had everything in the world I needed. I was so thankful! And as God began to over-flow my heart with this gratitude, I couldn't contain it. I looked at everyone with tears in my eyes and started to express how thankful I was for this meal. I mean, some thought I was nuts, while others caught the same spirit. Yeah, man....we are rich, aren't we?
I think about the meal now and I'm like, wow...what was I thinking? But that just shows you I needed to be reminded of this story. We complain about so much and so often that sometimes its hard to even recognize we're doing it. But sometimes you just have to purpose yourself to be thankful. I think we sometimes want to see the abundance and blessing come first, and then we're thankful. But I think we're thankful first, and then we recognize the abundance. Just like Jesus when He thanked God for the fish and bread before feeding the thousands.
i can't embed this video but its only 2 and 1/2 minutes. You should watch it. It challenged me because I needed reminding of what I've been given: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uH_eqDwTDRY
Or look at this one man who is changing the face of what it means to be thankful!
A little reminder to us all....that we have everything we need!