PERSPECTIVES FOR THANKS-GIVING
All of us are living through a very difficult time in history. There seems to be bad news on every front, in every sphere of life. Through the medium of technology, we are bombarded almost every minute of the day with anxiety-inducing, negatively influencing information, blinding us to some of the marvelous realities of our lives. Realities that could lift our spirits, filling us with tremendous gratitude and overflowing thanksgiving to God. I thought it would be helpful, uplifting, enlightening, and encouraging to share some of them with you as we head into our Thanksgiving holiday. May you wisely reflect on these marvelous blessings.
Almost half of the world’s population lives on less than $5.50 per day. 7 out of 10 live on less than $10 per day. Did you know that? Do you realize most of you reading this live on $100 to $300 per day!! Some of you, even more than that!! Oh how incredibly blessed we are!
Almost 60 percent of the world has no indoor toilet to use! Billions do not have the marvel of indoor plumbing, with safe clean water at their fingertips. When was the last time you rejoiced and gave thanks for your functioning white porcelain toilet, kept safe and warm in your own private bathroom? Most of us have at least 2 bathrooms with toilets in our homes, and many these days have even 3!!
Most people reading this drive vehicles that have nicer interiors than the living rooms of most people in the world! They can heat your seat as you sit on luxurious leather, defrost your windows, play your favorite movies, cool you to a perfect temperature, keep you perfectly warm on brutally cold days, and handle the wind, rain, and snow with no problem. They have tinted windows protecting you from the glare of the sun, heck, many even have heated steering wheels to keep your hands warm! You have your own backup camera so you don’t have to look in your rearview mirror, and a hands-free phone connection to blab and blab the hours away as you drive. You have stereo systems that are better than any stereo I grew up with as a kid! Did you know that only 9% of the world’s population even owns a car!! Most of you reading this own at least 2!!
Food, food, and more food. Incredibly, in season and out, we can get oranges, apples, produce, berries, nuts, meats, fish, rice, and legumes, I mean you name it, most of us can get it. We are swimming in abundance! We have grocery stores available to us, like Aldi, Costo, and Walmart that give us extraordinarily low prices on quality food, saving us thousands of dollars every year. Most of the world has no access to this luxury or savings. We live and eat like kings and queens of old! Look around your table at your family’s Thanksgiving feast this year, and it will look like the sumptuous feasts of the kings’ table! This Thanksgiving day, when all that food is laying there on the table before anyone eats it, take a picture of it, and just stare at it for a few moments. What an incredible blessing!
Fossil fuel, fossil fuel, fossil fuel, do you really grasp the blessing of fossil fuels? Next to food and water, the single greatest blessing in the world is fossil fuels. It has lifted billions out of poverty, allows you the use of all your technological gadgets, and powers all the amenities you enjoy, such as your washer, dryer, refrigerator, computer, TV, coffee maker, stove, oven, lights, heat, AC, allowing us to survive and thrive in any climate. They heat your water, heat and cool your home, drive your car, transport all the things you need to live and provide an abundance of electricity. God gave us fossil fuels! They are one of his greatest gifts to mankind!!
Just imagine your life without Christ! I would have never met my wife. Never had the 4 kids I have. I would be addicted to and dominated by my folly, passion, greed, selfishness, stupidity, and arrogance. I’d just be an all-around fool and idiot. I would, without a doubt, be divorced, have kids who hated me and spend any money I had on stupid and foolish things. I would have given in to my self-destructive ways. All of us would have wasted our entire, miserable lives, then died and gone straight to hell forever!
Think about your life with Christ! What an incredible life it has been! I know the living God as my best friend. I have the constant companionship and friendship of Christ! I have instant access to God anytime, anywhere through the gift of prayer. God hears and answers our prayers! God carries our sorrows and griefs. God helps us in all our troubles. God causes everything to work for good in our lives even things that seem bad to us. God has given us His Holy Spirit who empowers us, lives through us, and blesses us with his gifts of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. Imagine your life without those! Because of Christ, we will live forever in a brand new eternal body, in the most fantastic place one could ever imagine, where all trouble, sorrow, sin, stress, heartache, pain, death, disease, loss, and injustice are no more! Free to travel the heavens and new earth exploring all the miraculous new wonders of God’s second creation!!
There is not a day that goes by that I do not thank God for His divine wisdom and insights for my life. I mean God has saved us from our stupidity. God enables us to be wise if we really want it! I thank God every day that because of His wisdom my life does not look like Johnny Depp,Tom Brady, Brad Pitt, Connor McGreggor, or Bob Dylan. My life does not look like my financially leveraged, in debt to their ears, countrymen, whose lives are addicted to material things. My family life was incredibly blessed raising children because of God’s wisdom. My life is so empowered, encouraged, sustained, rejuvenated, and transformed by God’s Divine Truth! Oh how I praise and thank God every day for his marvelous wisdom!
I hope that some of these perspectives today have stimulated your mind and provoked your thinking, filling you with gratitude for the incredible blessings you are presently experiencing and enjoying. Let them really sink in. They are astounding!
I wish all of you a blessed Thanksgiving. As you gather this week, be sure to reflect and remember just how incredibly blessed you really are. Make sure to thank God for it today and every day.
Psalm 107:1,43 NLT
Give thanks to the Lord, his faithful love endures forever.
Those who are wise will take all this to heart; they will see in our history the faithful love of the Lord!
Helping you become a Strong Disciple,
Because of Jesus,
Pastor Mark Darling