Posted by: Kerry Spencer | October 16, 2008

Count your blessings

I’ve been somewhat surprised and impressed by the thankfulness and positive attitudes of many of the homeless folks who I’ve gotten to know.  In a recent conversation, one guy told me, “If you saw where I was sleeping you’d say it’s clear that God has been watching over me.”  I asked, “Oh, so you’ve found a nice place to stay.”  His response showed his positive perspective on a bad situation: “No it’s terrible.  Dangerous.  It’s an abandoned house.  But the fact that I wake up each morning and no one has bothered me . . . that’s a blessing.”

 

The other day, Matt and I were going around asking our residents if there were any issues we could pray about.  One guy, a fairly strong Christian, thought hard for several seconds and then replied, “No.  I’ve got no needs.”  He’s living in a small, one-room apartment in a homeless shelter and he tells us, sincerely, that he has no needs.

 

Should I be surprised that there are needy folks who are thankful for what they have?  Probably not.  Maybe I should be more surprised at the rich who have positive outlooks.  After all, the scriptures say it’s easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to go to heaven.  I’ve been thinking about the phrase “count your blessings.”  As for me, and most of you reading this, we have had so many blessings lavished on us that counting them can be a pretty overwhelming task.  I wonder how many of us don’t even try as a result.  Does it seem to be excessive to thank God every day for food, shelter, health, safety, transportation, jobs, and other blessings that we see as commonplace?  Maybe it is those who are truly happy just to be alive or to receive a free meal or to have a place to take a shower who are best able to render the appropriate appreciation to the Lord for those blessings.  In my life, those things have been a given.  I take them for granted.  But I must realize that they have been granted to me, by God.  How could I not give Him thanks for them? 

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