By the time you read this, I will be on my way back home. I wrote it before I left.
Where was I going? I was on my way to Haiti. A group of three from my church planned to join up with four others to spend a week there.
I have to admit something to you. I was full of apprehension as I made my preparations to leave. That’s a fancy way of saying I was just a bit scared.
Please don’t misunderstand: I can honestly say that I was not afraid to die. I am confident, based on what God has done for me, that I am going to live forever, even after my body dies. And I was not afraid of the people I was going to visit. But there always is a bit of discomfort experiencing new things and places.
I’d never been to Haiti before. I have been on mission trips before. I’ve gone to Russia, Ukraine and Nigeria and preached in each of those places. I’ve also made a trip to Long Island, New York, and served as pastor in Indiana and Michigan. So traveling is not a new thing for me. But I always wonder, when I go to a new place, what it will hold for me. How will I be received? What will I see and do?
Again, as I write, I have yet to leave, but I believe I can say a few things with confidence. I expect that upon my return home, I will be a bit more grateful for what I have and where I live. I anticipate I will see material things in a rather different fashion. I hope I will be a bit less prone to whine and complain when I experience a bit of discomfort. I trust I will be more satisfied with life as I know it.
And that is the rub, is it not? Why must I go to an impoverished place to remind myself of the blessings that I have every day? Why do I not see the goodness of God in the basics of life? Why am I not more grateful all the time?
Paul wrote, “Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you …” How often do you give thanks? May I encourage you to be more grateful? God has been good. Praise him and give thanks to him.