So often in life we forget about the common, every day generosity of our heavenly Father. I am not talking about how thankful we should be for the amazing truth and blessing of the gift of righteousness He has given us through His Son Jesus Christ, but rather the physical things that we have that we usually do not think twice about. This is the reality that I was faced with just a couple of weeks ago. The staff here in Nsoko had the opportunity to visit a few of our local families, and deliver some of our extra mattresses that were no longer in use at our team house. As we pull up to these homes, more times than not we are met with the rush of happy children, some naked, some clothed, and are invited into their humble homes. Homes that they are very proud of. As we sit in these homes, you realize that we are sitting on a dirt floor covered with pieces of linoleum, straw mats and anything that can cover these hard surfaces to give a little more comfort and cleanliness. You sit in these homes where many will curl up and sleep for the night on this solid surface, realizing that the rays of sunlight light that are seeping into the dimly lit structure are not from windows strategically placed to give a nice view or look to the house, but rather because the walls and roof are filled with holes throughout. Holes that will function as open flowing faucets when the intense blowing storms hit during this rainy season that we are currently in. As we stay and talk, the joy in their faces can be seen as they share how grateful and extremely thankful they are for this gift of a mattress, a mattress that you would not even consider putting on your bed, giving praise to God for His provision. I share all of this not to bring guilt into your life for the stuff that you have, but rather to encourage you as He has encouraged me. I challenge you to continually thank God for the every day gifts that He has so generously given you. The not so simple fact that you are able to curl up into a bed that is most likely layered with comfortable sheets, blankets and pillows, under a roof that will probably not leak if a heavy storm hits, or possibly blow over if the winds get too strong, is something that you should not take credit for. This is purely the work of God and can be taken away at any moment. Just as Paul learned to be content and thankful in times of plenty and in times of need, so must we model this mindset. Thank God for all of this, and pray for those who do not have these. Pray that God will provide for their needs, and that in His provision, His love and grace can be shared, seen and accepted.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.
1 Thessalonians 5:16 – 19