An Attitude of Gratitude
“One man said, he had made enough from his garden this year that he didn’t have to sell one of his animals in order to send his children to school,” writes Dave Graffenberger, a missionary with One Mission Society in Haiti. This line in Dave’s most recent prayer letter to his supporters is a reality for the Majority World. I cannot even imagine what kind of life this man has in Haiti. Sure, I have seen the pictures and read headlines about poverty in Haiti and other places, but reading a sentence like that caused me to pause and ponder. “Do I ever have to make decisions like this?”
The answer is no, but it is not an exuberant “no,” it is a sobering “no,” with the realization that my reality is not what the majority of the world’s reality is on a day-to-day basis. Access to education, medical care, clean water, a home, clean clothes, shoes on my feet, food in my belly are all a matter of choice for me, often a luxury. For the rest of the world, what I consider a choice or luxury is just a matter of survival, and that just makes my mind wonder … why?
As I journey through my life as a Christ follower, I believe He reveals this kind of thing to me for a couple of reasons. First, to bring to my mind all of the blessings I have in my life like my home, clothes, and clean water. Second, recognizing an alternate reality causes me to think differently about what I have, what I want, and what I actually need. Thoughts like this stretch me and bring me to what I desperately need, a change in my attitude. An attitude of thankfulness and gratitude is the third reason I believe the Lord reveals things like this to me.
Living with an attitude of gratitude changes my perspective. It takes the focus off me and puts it where it should be … on the Lord. He is worthy of all the glory, honor, and praise. Happy Thanksgiving!
―Beth Jordal, OMS missionary, serving in Communications
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