Sunday, October 6, 2013

Focus on what you don't have

We hear that we should focus on what we have instead of focusing on what we don't have.  However, sometimes we need to focus on what we do not have in order to be grateful for what we do have. 

Think about things you don't have to do.  I know someone who has to carry her disabled son up stairs in her house every day.  I know someone who has to know the bus schedules in order to take her daughter anywhere or go get groceries.  I know people who have to worry about illness their children have and how that will affect them.  There are people who have to strive to feed their children, have to wonder what they will do if they lose their house, have to go to the laundry mat to do all of the family's clothes, have to send their kids into unsafe situations, have to make incredibly hard decisions and have to deal with constant mourning and grief.  Focusing on these things, makes me pretty grateful for what I don't have.

Think about the things you don't have to experience.  War, abuse, poverty, starvation, sickness, lack of freedom, all things people around the world face every day.  If you look at news picture on the internet, you can see the way so many people live around the world.  I am so thankful I don't live in a war-torn place where I cannot protect or feed my children.

I could go on listing things, but the point is not to feel guilty, but to be grateful.  It makes the little problems in our lives seem so very little.  It also helps us to realize that other people have it rough sometimes, and if we can take some of the blessings and resources that we have and help someone else out, it is how we would want to be treated.  You just never know how much something that we take for granted can mean to someone else. 

 Sing to the Lord with grateful praise;
    make music to our God on the harp.

He covers the sky with clouds;
    he supplies the earth with rain
    and makes grass grow on the hills. 
 He provides food for the cattle
    and for the young ravens when they call.
His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,
    nor his delight in the legs of the warrior;
the Lord delights in those who fear him,    who put their hope in his unfailing love.                       Psalm 147:7-11