2 Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
3 Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. 4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
5 For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations. Psalm 100 (NKJV)
GIVING THANKS FOR MATERIAL BLESSINGS
The warm water cascaded over my head, seemingly washing away weeks of stress and fatigue. I could feel the muscles in my back and shoulders melt against the strain of three weeks and 16,000 miles of travel.
“Ahhh, this feels good,” I thought. And then it hit me. The simple blessing of hot water. Of the soothing comfort of it beating down on my shoulders, feeling warm and clean. So normal in our culture. I looked around my bathroom. There were four water faucets within eyesight. One simple turn of the handle and warm clean water would gush through each one of them. Wow. What a luxury. In American culture at least.
Having just returned from a small town in Brazil on a mission trip, I’d learned how to appreciate a little thing like hot water. While there, I’d found myself in need of some modern conveniences for which I am accustomed. Hummm … could it be that I am just spoiled rotten and in need of a little “thanks” giving?
I remembered being in one village—in a very simple cottage—with running water. Cold water. Sometimes. The weather was hot and sticky, with dirt roads and puffy clouds of dust. I remembered the times the water shut down, and we’d go to night services without a shower … or to bed without one. Or had to pour water from a bucket to flush the toilet. I remembered we couldn’t drink the water even when it was running.
Standing there with the hot water beating upon my shoulders, I thanked God for clean water that you can even drink, and paved roads and clean air. And I thanked Him for America where opportunity abounds … even in these harder times for which we are unaccustomed.
And I thanked Him for the opportunity to travel to that simple village with the sporadic water supply and puffy clouds of dust. Because it is in that place that I am reminded of my blessings at home, and the blessing of sharing Hope in this new land. It is because of the blessings we have in this country that I am able to travel and share blessings in theirs.
I am also reminded that even the great blessing of warm, clean water, and paved roads, does not offer peace in my soul. Only Jesus offers that. And we can take that blessing with us no matter where we travel, or whereever we live-—or no matter what we have or don’t have. Peace of the soul is an intangible gift, that when given by God, no one can take away.
So, today, I’d like to offer you that peace. It’ll be the best decision you’ll ever make, and you’ll never regret it!
Your Traveling Partner,