The Gratitude Tour

20 Nov

It’s hard to be grateful for some things. Ever burn the Thanksgiving Turkey?

BurnedTurkeyHere are some reasons you might choose to be thankful anyway:

1. Everyone might think your turkey is Cajun blackened.
2. Your cheese broccoli Lima bean casserole will gain new-found appreciation.
3. No one will overeat.
4. You’ll get to the desserts even quicker.
5. The guys can take the bird to the back yard to play football.
6. You won’t have to face three weeks of turkey sandwiches. *

Oh that we might learn to choose gratitude.

I had a vivid dream one Saturday morning. God teaches me many lessons in my dreams. He uses scriptures I’ve memorized and events in my life and draws pictures to help me learn. Let me share my dream. (Note: in my dream I just saw the people … names and countries were added for this account.)

I heard a voice – “Let me take you on a little tour of your home.”

We started in the kitchen. I turned on the faucet and clean water gushed out. “Little Farhan in Sudan has no clean water,” the voice said.

I opened my cupboard, full of food, then moved to the dining room to eat a hearty breakfast. “Elda in Ethiopia is starving this morning … and Peggy just came off the street in your own hometown. She’s at the Salvation Army kitchen today.”

I sat down in the comfort of my living room to relax from the workweek. “Bill is still out of work, desperate for a job. He’s living in his car.”

I spent some time at my computer, surrounded by technology. “Alma went to the library today, using the community computer.”

I visited my bathroom. “Panjak in India has a mobile phone, but no toilet in his home.”

I hopped in my air conditioned car to go on errands. “Sumi in Bangladesh has blisters on her feet, walking everywhere in the hot sun.”

As nightfall came, I curled up on my Sleep Number bed. “Neela in Nairobi sleeps on the hard ground in a shack,” the voice said.

I read my Bible before bedtime. “Bingwen in China has only one page from a shared Bible … and he worships in a secret church.”

I woke from my dream in tears. It is far too easy to forget I have so much.

Please understand. I didn’t feel guilty for having all these things. I know that all good gifts come from God (James 1:17).

But I think I understand why God might have given me the dream on that Saturday morning.

He wanted to teach me some things:

  1. Be thankful for the good things you have. (Psalm 100:4b-5)
  2. Be thankful even when hard times come. (Ephesians 5:201 Thessalonians 5:18)
  3. Be aware and sensitive to the pain in the world – not self-absorbed, not turning your back on others’  suffering, but loving people sincerely with Jesus’ love. (Mark 12:31; Galatians 6:2; Philippians 2:4)
  4. Share what you have; be a good steward of all you possess. (Proverbs 14:31; 19:17; 22:9; Matthew 5:42; 25:35-40; Hebrews 13:16; 1 John 3:17-18).

I invite you to take a tour of your own home. Do it today … or soon.

  • Fully appreciate what you have. “Thank you, Lord, for this …. and that … and this … and that…..”
  • Relax. Don’t feel guilty about your blessings from God. Just observe … be grateful.
  • As you consider each possession – each gift from God – take time to pray for those who struggle. Remember, especially, the people you know … pray and ask God to meet their needs.
  • Ask the Lord, “How do you want me to use my possessions for Your glory.” (Note: you may be the answer to the prayer you just prayed!)
  • Don’t rush away … Listen. And obey.

Living in gratitude – especially, being grateful for all we have and are in Christ – is one way to live “to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:3-12).

Make the daily choice to express gratitude for all your blessings, and even those tough things … like a Crispy Critter Turkey. Or at least thank God for the lessons you can learn or choices you can make.

Let me know when you take your own Gratitude Tour.

    – Dawn Wilson


LINKED TO:  Raising Homemakers


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