I was reading through a book called Hope in the Dark...it's a book with photographs and reflections/stories from the author's trip to Africa. A lot of the pictures/reflections struck me, but nothing pierced my heart like the following:
"We know that Americans pity Africans," he told me. "But sometimes I think Africans pity Americans."
"How so?" I asked him.
"Americans seem to expect that everything will be provided for them. For us," he said, "this ear of corn is a gift from God. This evening's rain is a shower of mercy upon us. This healthy breath is life giving. And, maybe tomorrow we will not have such things, but our hearts are so full from God's provision."
As much as I appreciate all that I've been given, sometimes I despise the fact that I was born into a society where we think we deserve all we've been given and therefore believe that it will always be there. We think we have this entitlement to whatever we want and need, but thinking in such a way makes it so much harder for us to see God in everything. We take so much for granted. Yeah we thank God for our meals (if we remember to pray and "bless" our food before we eat). And when we need something really big and God provides, we thank God and give Him the glory (unless we somehow think it's because of something we did...then God doesn't even get any acknowledgment for what He did).
When was the last time you or I genuinely thanked God for the breaths we take, for the clean water we have to drink, for the fact that we have heat, for the rain (or snow), for the beauty that is around us in His creation (you know the trees, the sky, the things that we often overlook...the things that should cause us to be in awe of our Creator), for the food in the DC? When was the last time that you or I took time to realize that the only way that we have those things is by the grace and mercy of God? I know that it's been awhile for me.
So, I'm praying a dangerous prayer...I'm praying that God will awaken our hearts to His provision, that He will humble me so that I can see how dependent I am upon Him and His love/grace/mercy, that He will change my heart and make it one of thankfulness rather than one of entitlement...God is so good and I pray that those of us who have been given so much will begin to see His goodness in the smallest things...that it will become more and more apparent how much we need Him everyday, every minute, every second.