by J. Lee Grady
We Americans are a blessed people, but we are also spoiled. I know I am. I can get flustered over the stupidest things–like when my cellphone doesn’t get a good signal, when a flight is delayed or when my computer takes too long to load a website.
Most people in the world don’t have iPhones, can’t afford air travel and don’t have computers. My impatience reveals my ungrateful spirit.
So how can we avoid this virus of selfish immaturity? Thankfulness is the antidote. It melts our pride and crushes our sense of entitlement. It reminds us that everything we have comes from God, and that His mercy is the only reason we are blessed.
As you celebrate Thanksgiving Day, I pray you will invite the Holy Spirit to convict you of any whining. Here’s a list of 10 blessings that many people in the world don’t have. Go over this list and then see if you still have anything to gripe about.
1. Got clean water? The next time you uncap a bottle of water or grab a drink from the tap, remember that one in eight people in the world (that’s 884 million people) lack access to clean water supplies. Millions of women around the world spend several hours a day collecting water. When you take a five-minute shower, you use more water than a typical person in a developing country uses in a whole day.
2. Do you have a bathroom? About 40 percent of the world’s population (2.6 billion people) do not have toilets. Lack of sanitation facilities spreads disease and is a major reason why more than 2 million people die annually of diarrhea.
3. How’s your electricity? The power in my house might be interrupted briefly three times a year because of Florida storms. But 1.6 billion people–a· quarter of humanity–live without any electricity. And, because of unreliable infrastructure, at least 2 billion people on earth don’t have any light at night.
4. Got a roof over your head? One billion people live in slums. That’s almost one-sixth of the world’s population. Of this total, 640 million children live without adequate shelter; they live in cardboard boxes, tin-roofed shacks, one-room mud huts or filthy, crowded tenements. It’s been estimated that 1.4 billion people will live in slums by 2020. Meanwhile here in the United States, between 2.3 to 2.5 million people are classified as homeless.
Source: Charisma Magazine
J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma. You can follow him on Twitter at leegrady. His most recent book is 10 Lies Men Believe (Charisma House).