“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

I Thessalonians 5:18

African ladies carried wooden benches, wicker baskets filled with pots, blue-plastic cups, red plates, and charcoal cookers on their heads. They set up the sidewalk café each morning to serve fried egg sandwiches, instant Nescafe coffee and Ovaltine.

A woman cracked the eggs in a bowl, whipped them with a fork and poured them in the beaten-up frying pan on top of the flame. After the eggs were cooked, she sliced open a small loaf of salt bread and slid the omelet onto it.  She dipped a plastic goblet into a pot of boiling water. As she poured it over a spoon of powder, she stirred.

I travelled throughout the country on a mission trip and had eaten that $1.30 breakfast every morning for a week. “Lord, I’m tired of fried egg sandwiches.”

“Don’t complain.  Look around. Be grateful for the food you have because there are millions of starving people in the world.”

It was a good thought for Thanksgiving as I worked in a third-world country. If I hadn’t received an e-mail telling me “Happy Thanksgiving,” I would have forgotten the American holiday, to give thanks.

I looked around at the unwashed people dressed in rags and was grateful in my heart that I’d grown up in a land of plenty with money, a good education and basic provisions  every day.  Maybe we should be grateful all the time, not just one day of the year.

As  I sat on the uneven wooden bench I glanced at the local people. “Thank you Lord, I have a fried egg sandwich, instant coffee and boiled water to drink. Thank you that I will have a roof over my head tonight when I reach the village. Thank you I’ve clean clothes to wear and will get to bathe at the end of the day. Thank you, Lord.”

“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

I Thessalonians 5:18

Be thankful. We may not have what we think is best or we may be tired of what we have or may not think it’s what we should have, but thank God anyway. Maybe He wants us to look out and beyond to others less fortunate for they can teach us how to be thankful.

Give thanks in all circumstances and for everything.

Sorry I didn’t write last Saturday morning, the regular post. But it’s never too late for Thanksgiving.



About celestecharlene

I served as a medical missionary in West Africa for thirty years treating the sick and establishing health clinics in rural neglected areas.
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