Be Thankful For the Little Things
Helen Dowd

"Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it. " Psalm 127:1

Do you have a house to live in? Is there electricity? Running water? A refrigerator? A stove? Are you blessed with indoor facilities? Or did you have to run outside to an outhouse? Did you click on the TV while you sat down to a breakfast of your choosing? Did you go and climb into your car to go to work? Can you sit at a computer and turn on the Internet whenever you choose? I could go on.... Did you get up this morning and look around you, at all your possessions?

If you said YES to any of these things, then you are rich. Most of us, at least those who will be reading this, are rich. We lack for little. Oh yes, we may WANT more, but there is little more that we need. And who gave us these riches? I have heard many say, "I worked hard for everything I have. I deserve it, and no one is going to take it away from me." And it's true. Those who have worked hard to get where they are deserve to live in relative comfort. But-- WHO GAVE US THE POWER TO GET THESE RICHES?

Paul tells Timothy in I Timothy 6:17: "Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God who giveth us richly all things to enjoy."

Deuteronomy 8:11, 12, 14, 18 says: "Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: lest when thou has eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; ... then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the Lord thy God: . . . for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth."

These instructions were given to the Children of Israel as they were taking possession of the Promised Land.... And the lesson is there for us, too. We have to remember not to take for granted that what we have today will necessarily be here for us tomorrow. We realize that each day as we listen to the television, or read the newspapers and hear of victims of earthquakes, floods, fire or other natural disasters. These people had many possessions one minute, and nothing an hour later. It took only seconds for the twin towers in New York to blow up on September 11, 2001. It takes only forty-five seconds or less for an earthquake to reduce to rubble a whole city. It takes only minutes for a fire to destroy a dwelling. It takes only hours for a flood to wash away a village.

We hear these disastrous events all the time on television, or on the radio. Does it shake us up? If such a disaster were to happen to us, would we be devastated? Of course we would. Could we pick up the pieces and carry on? Would life be over for us if we lost all our possessions? These are serious questions for us all to consider. I have thought a lot about it. In fact (and I even hesitate to say this out loud), I ask myself: "When will it be my turn? Why have I been so blessed?" I could have been one of the victims in New York disaster. Or I could be living in Russia, where, according to the news, many are suffering through one of the worst winters ever, with temperatures plummeting to 60 degrees below zero in some places. In the news report they showed pictures where families and extended families were huddled up together in one room, to keep warm. I saw children, warming freezing hands over a grill. I saw where whole families would crowd together into one bed, keeping their clothes and overcoats on, in order to survive the night. And recently I saw pictures of people in North India who were suffering from unusually cold weather, and even dying from exposure, because they had no place to get out of the cold.

Am I any better than any of these people? Of course not! And I don't understand why I am not in their place. I think about it often. But it is not up to me to wonder the WHY of these things. It is up to me to live for today and thank God for what I have. It is up to me NOT to take for granted all of God's blessings to me at this time. Some day I will have to give an account. I pray to God that I will be able to hold my head up high, knowing that I did what I could with what He gave me.

"Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. "Psalm 103:1-2.

I end with this quote from "The Daily Motivator": "Be thankful for the little things, for that warm ray of sunshine beaming through your window, for the refreshing cool wind against your face, for the joy of helping a child to experience something new."

Helen Dowd

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