Gratitude. That is what I feel today. Gratitude that I am in Bali, Indonesia listening to waves slide silently across the ocean below me making a gentle crashing sound as they meet the rocks and return to sea.
Gratitude as I watch the young Indonesian paddle his canoe across the water toward the shore. What he is doing out there, I do not know. But it is a peaceful journey, at least from my vantage point. But maybe not from his. He appears to be scooping water from his vessel in a hurried fashion. But it doesn’t seem life threatening as he once again picks up his paddle and continues his journey.
Gratitude as I think about returning home to family, the chill of fall, holiday preparation, and life in northern Indiana. Although I have visited many beautiful and interesting places the last two weeks, I am grateful for where I am planted. Acts 17 reminds me that I am created by God. He determined when and where I live.
For whatever reason, I am where he appointed me to be in both time and place. And for that I am grateful. But there is so much to learn from people appointed to live in other places.
My greatest take-away from Thailand is something our guide told us one day while on a long boat ride through the canals. Many of the people in Thailand are very poor but our guide reminded us that they are happy people because they have so much food. There is fruit, fish, rice, coconut and other natural products readily available. So even though the people do not have many resources, they are happy because they have food.
Gratitude overflows within me for Jesus. Acts 17:24-25 says, “God… doesn’t live in man made temples, and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He gives life and breath to everything and he satisfies every need.”
Bali is Hindu. Everywhere there are little grass baskets filled with flowers, rice, candy, etc. as a daily offering to god. I am grateful that there is nothing I need to offer to God to appease him or feed him or supply his needs. I know that he has overcome darkness and evil and he reigns in heaven. We all have equal access to God the Father by the Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us. (Ephesians 2:17-18) There is no longer any need for sacrifices or offerings to him.
And the list could go on and on. So today, I am grateful. Grateful for the opportunity to step out of my routine and travel with my husband. Grateful for exposure to cultures unlike my own. Grateful to be with friends I don’t see very often. Grateful that I get to return home to my family to celebrate birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year.
But most of all grateful for Jesus.
Until next time…
May the Lord bless you and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.