12 August 2005

Blessings Abound

A few years ago, a friend gave me a Mary Englebreit card framed in a simple blue frame. I love her art work. It has a cluttered and cozy effect. It said, "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things". It is so true, but how easily our perspective on this gets skewed, warped and battered.

Yesterday I was reading one of my favorite blogs by KarenW (missionary family in Romania)- and she was telling about not having water one day unexpectedly. But then she turned it around and saw a way to be thankful because her friends, another missionary family in Albania only have water for one hour a day - between 5 and 6 am. I think she set a great example for me in being able to say - it can be difficult, but I know it could be worse.

When we let these "things", or "lack of things" get us down, we become completely caught up in the flesh, and are rendered virtually ineffective for our Lord. I am so guilty of falling into this trap, and then once I know I'm there, wallowing in it. What a shame it is for those of us who do live in country where things like water and our daily needs are rarely an issue to still be so caught up in "things" and "stuff". For Americans, clean water is seldom lacking - and so what we often concern ourselves with is material possessions, and the caring for those possessions.

Last year on a mission trip with our youth group to work with Lakota Indians in South Dakota, I took a couple of teens with me one day to do some laundry, and encountered some of the poorest people I have ever met. After we put our laundry into the washing machines, we walked across the street to a little mom and pop grocery. With teens in tow, Doritos were mandatory, and we bought a box of Little Debbies. When we got back to the laundromat, we shared our snacks with the children that were there and as would be expected their faces lit up. What I didn't expect was that we would get the same childlike reaction from the adult women, one quite elderly, that were in there. When we returned to the school where we were staying, I just fell apart to think something like that simple treat, which I take for granted, could mean so much to someone.

I just wanted to say that reading about Karen's day really convicted me to count my blessings, and pray for those who are in more difficult circumstances. Thanks for the life lesson Karen! Thank You Lord for reminding me what's important!

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