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Trip taught gratitude to God
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I returned last week from a mission trip to Haiti. When asked about the trip, my first response often has been, “It was hot.” I’m so glad that I came back home to cooler temperatures.

Except …

It’s hotter in Bryan County this week than it was in Haiti last week! Yikes!

Of course, there are some major differences. First and foremost, we have air conditioning in our homes and cars and, very often, in our workplaces and businesses. There is a place to escape the heat, and I am taking advantage of it every chance I get. A second major difference is in the variation of the temperature. Last week, the low temperatures rarely got below 80. It is not easy sleeping under a mosquito net in 80-plus-degree weather. Even with a fan, it was not much fun.

I have had to stop and have a talk with myself a couple of times in these past two weeks. Some of you have heard me say this before, but I have to be very careful about what I say concerning the heat. You see, I made a promise to God. When I moved from Michigan to Pembroke, I promised the Lord I would not complain about the heat. I had endured the cold for 14 years. I know that not everyone agrees, but I can handle the heat better than the cold.

But here is the issue in a nutshell: For me to complain about anything is an affront to God, who has blessed me far more than I deserve. I think that was driven home to me last week as much as anything else I learned while out of the country. I have been blessed. That certainly includes the things that I own and amenities I enjoy.

But it goes far beyond that. I was blessed with my family of origin. I was blessed with opportunities for education. I was blessed with so much that I have not earned.  

I don’t feel guilty about that, nor should I. But there are two things I need to do. First, I must live a life of gratitude. If I am not thankful, I am disobedient. It really is that simple. And secondly, I must live a life of generosity. Again, to do otherwise would be disobedient.  

God has been so good to me. I pray that I will always give thanks and always give back. I pray the same for you.

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