REASONS TO BE THANKFUL
During tough times it is hard to find some good reasons to be thankful. It’s much easier and comforting to gripe and complain, though, neither of them make us feel any better. Here are a few reasons that you just might want to consider this Thanksgiving season.
1. A ROOF OVER YOUR HEAD: As you lay your head on the pillow tonight, remember that there are as many as 100 million people sleeping on the streets in our world. Sadly, many of them are children and mentally ill. Even in our own state of North Carolina there are over 12,500 homeless people on a typical night.
2. CLEAN DRINKING WATER: As you get a drink of water, remember that in some rural areas of the Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia women and young girls have to walk as much as six miles every day to get water. Many water sources are contaminated and cause cholera and dysentery leading to death. The Mudug region in Somalia has had no rain in five consecutive rainy seasons and is in a terrible drought.
3. FOOD ON THE TABLE: As you empty your leftovers in the trashcan, remember that each day about 16,000 children die from hunger-related problems (one child every five seconds). Recent years have seen the worst food crisis in 20 years. In Ethiopia, there is a shortage of 125,000 tons of food at this very moment. Children on the streets of Bombay sift through garbage each day looking for their next morsel.
4. GOOD HEALTH: As you consider yourself lucky for not catching a cold this season, remember U.S. Army Pvt. 1st Class Heath Kirk who lost part of his right leg in Afghanistan. He also had a severe injury in his left leg with shrapnel imbedded in his hands and heavily burned skin with multiple infections. Heath had just turned 21 a week prior to his injury when the Hummer he was driving was hit by a bomb. Freedom is never free.
5. FAMILY: As you hold hands with your loved ones around the thanksgiving table, remember the 15,200,000 children who have been orphaned by the AIDS crisis. If all these children were to hold hands, they would stretch across the width of the United States. In Eastern Europe less than half of the orphan population will make it to their twentieth birthday and half of those who make it will be caught up in organized crime, drugs, or prostitution. Before the year is over about 25,000 foster kids in the United States will turn 18 and “age out” of the system without families.
6. RELIGIOUS FREEDOM: As you contemplate getting out of bed on Sunday morning to go to church, remember that Christians in North Korea are sentenced to labor camps to work in awful conditions because of their faith. Many are secretly executed by the communist government. North Korea remains No. 1 on Open Doors’ World Watch List in severe persecution.
7. PAID IN FULL: As you open your bills and see the late fines and penalties, remember that Jesus Christ has already paid in full the penalty of our sin. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Not only that but God has also credited to my account the righteousness of Christ.
Maybe the first six could be debated but the last one is for sure a good enough reason to be thankful. Happy Thanksgiving!