“Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”1
What I am about to say may seem extremely simplistic but it was a vivid reminder to me of the incredible privileges and blessings I/we experience every day here in the Western world.
When I was brushing my teeth last night, I thought to myself how blessed I am to have a toothbrush and toothpaste so I can clean my teeth every morning and night. I was thinking how awful it would be to live where such simple amenities were not available. However, before writing me off as some kind of pedantic fanatic please consider a recent experience that Joy (my wife) had.
Not so long ago she was on a mission team from our church that went to a poverty stricken area in the Philippines. She shared how incredibly excited and thankful the children were when the team gave each one of them a toothbrush and toothpaste—something they had never had in their life before.
And then this morning I was so thankful to God that we had indoor plumbing, hot and cold running water, all the food we need, modern medical help, a roof over our head, a cozy bed to sleep in, a loving partner, the wonderful privilege of writing to you, incredible means of communication and travel, fabulous highways—and a thousand other conveniences, privileges, and endless benefits that we have that all too often are taken for granted—not to mention the unspeakable privilege of having heard and received God’s great gift of salvation—and because somebody cared enough to introduce me to Jesus.
I hope that when you brush your teeth today that you, too, will see and remember the incredible blessings that you have and that, together, we will work to help those less fortunate than ourselves. As another has said, “Would I sell my hands or my eyes for a million dollars?” No way.
Suggested prayer: “Dear God, please open my eyes so that I will continually see the endless blessings You have so freely given to me and, above all else, please give me a thankful heart. And may praise and thanksgiving to You always be in my heart and never far from my lips. And please help me to remember the poor and needy where I live and those in other parts of the world, and do what I can to help those who are not in a position to be able to help themselves—and in so doing exhibit your love for them. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus’s name, amen.”
1. Ephesians 5:20 (NIV).