Thankful. Thank-full. Full of Thanks.
I forget sometimes to be thankful. It’s easy to get caught up in looking at what I don’t have and forget to intentionally see what I do have. God sends reminders my way at times. Like when I see pictures of families in the Compassion International Magazine living in homes that aren’t as nice as my lawn mower shed. Or a picture of a mom with four children rummaging through the garbage dump looking for anything she can sell to feed her family. True stories of real people.
Then I see my blessings more clearly, and how I often throw away things other people look for in the trash. I take for granted the clean water I pour from the tap, forgetting others carry heavy jugs for miles to bring water home to their families. The very smallest of my things are big things to them.
We can be overwhelmed seeing the world’s needs, up close or far away. It’s more than we can fix. But we can do something, even if it seems small. It’s in remembering what we have that brings about the desire to share it with others. When we forget, when I forget, my focus is clouded by my own reflection as I see myself looking back in the mirror of self-centeredness. It’s when I look out, past myself, that I not only see the needs of others, but I see the blessings in my own life- I see abundance.
This past Sunday a group of people got together to pack shoeboxes with Christmas gifts for children in poverty. Many of the things packed were things we all have in our bathroom drawers or medicine cabinets- tooth brushes, combs, soap, washcloths. Pencil bags were also packed, filled with various school supplies. Things we and our own children often take for granted. If enough room was left in the boxes, they added a small toy, stuffed animal, or ball. Such simple gifts, yet treasured beyond what we can imagine, when received by a child who has nothing.
As Thanksgiving approaches, my mind is drawn to what it means to truly be thankful. Do I see my blessings? I want to be full of thanks. Thank-full. When we are full of thanks, it overflows to others. Maybe we can’t fix the world’s problem of poverty, but we can do something, even if it’s small, or fits in a shoebox.
What blessings do you see when you look at your life? Enough to be thank-full?
Let’s overflow with thanks, into a world in need- in Jesus’ name.
Thankful for you,
Thank you for the many blessings you pour out in our lives from your riches in glory, in Christ Jesus. Help us see, acknowledge, and share- with a thank-full heart. Amen.
“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18