My Mom grew up on a farm in Southwestern Missouri. When she was a kid they had an outhouse, took baths outside, had chickens, and lived a simple lifestyle. There wasn’t the internet, they didn’t shop at the mall, and she was the first one in her family to go to college. As a kid I often had the chance to spend my spring breaks with my cousins on the farm. I learned about growing crops, tractors, cattle, and spending time in what is often referred to as “God’s Country.”
Over the last few months I’ve had a chance to really get to know one of guests. He grew up on a small farm in rural Missouri. He dropped out of school in the 5th grade to take care of his siblings, doesn’t know how to read, and the doctors told him he has the education level of a 7th grader. He struggles through his life daily and has tried to learn to read many times. I can’t even comprehend or imagine what that would be like. He is one of the nicest, kindest, gentleman I’ve ever met. He ended up homeless because of his lack of education and when the farmhouse became his he was taken advantage of.
The one thing that truly amazes me is that is his faith in God is one of the strongest I’ve ever seen. He fully puts his trust in God every day. He prays daily and truly lives out his life as Christ calls us. He can’t even read the word of God but it doesn’t stop him from seeking the Lord’s will in his life daily.
A few weeks ago he approached me with the biggest smile on his face as he told me that after many years of facing the struggle of homelessness he would be moving into an apartment. He finally would have another place to call home and lay his head. We often take for granted so many things in our lives. We forget to give God thanks for the things we have. God calls us to a place of humility and thankfulness.
I want you to take a few minutes and make a list of the things you are thankful for. Then I want you to take a few minutes to pray and thank God for these things. Life is short and full of struggles and challenges but each day God reveals his blessings to us whether big or small.
“It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night..” – Psalm 92:1-2
“If families can say these three things, they will be fine. ‘Sorry,’ ‘excuse me,’ ‘thank you.’ How often do we say ‘thank you’ in our families? How often do we say ‘thank you’ to those who help us, those close to us, those at our side throughout life? All too often we take everything for granted!” – Pope Francis