If you have ever spent any time around a big city, or even a smaller one you have probably seen these people.
A man staggers down a sidewalk, grabs a street light pole to steady himself, and proceeds to take a leak in broad day light.
You leave the baseball stadium, and a man with a shopping cart is pouring into a milk jug the remnant of beer from all the cans he has collected. His efforts so far have yielded him about ½ gal of beer, and he tosses the cans into a trash bag hanging from his cart.
A woman in layers of dirty old clothes can be seen pushing her loaded cart down a side walk. It's piled high with bags of stuff, old cardboard, and other miscellaneous possessions she considers of value.
I don't know what your reaction is when you see these people, but somehow these people always set my mind to wondering. Who are these people? How did they get to this point in their life? What is to become of them?
I'm not convinced I have the answers to any of these questions, but I feel like I've got a pretty good answer to the first one. These people are you and I, but for the grace of God, lest you feel superior have you ever stopped to consider that God could have just as easily placed you in that poor, large family growing up in the projects? It might have been you that was neglected, unloved, abused, mistreated, and deprived your whole life. You could be the one with a 73-point IQ, or the one with the untreated mental problems, or the one messed up by drugs, alcohol, or the trauma of war.
Are we thanking God every day for our blessings which we tend to so easily dismiss, and are we helping our fellow man when God gives us the capacity to do so?
It is so easy to forget just how great the Lord has blessed us. We might enjoy good health, a body free of disease and defect. A good mind and talents and abilities he has gifted us with. He may have placed us in a good family with loving parents. We may enjoy living in a country which is rich in opportunity and gives us freedom to worship and enjoy liberty freely. Do we take for granted these things or are we thanking and praising him for these things every day?
To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee forever. Psalm 30:12 (KJV)
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfies the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. Psalm 107:8-9 (KJV)
Only fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you. 1 Samuel 12: 24 (KJV)
Additionally, as he has blessed us are we willing to extend those blessing to others that are less fortunate than us?
If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. James 2:15-18 (KJV)
But who so hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3: 17-18 (KJV)