I usually prefer morning showers, but once in a while I feel like indulging in a luxurious soak in a hot, fragrant bath filled with bath salts and bubbles. After the stress and hard labor of my household move, last night I decided I’d earned a bit of pampering. As I lolled in the silky water, letting it soothe and relax my stiff muscles and letting my mind wander, I was convicted with a mental vision of a woman huddled in the dirt and confusion of a refugee camp. Comparing her situation to my own, I began to consider all the people in the world who, for one reason or another and through no fault of their own, would never experience the simple pleasure, peace and privacy of a relaxing bubble bath.
There is nothing I have done to earn the blessings I enjoy simply because of the circumstances of my birth. I do not deserve a lovely, hot bath, or any of my other riches, more than other women, and much less than many. I was starting to feel guilty for my circumstances when I was caught up short with the realization that every aspect of my life is filtered through God’s perfect will. If I accept all my struggles as containing blessings and lessons from Him, then I must accept His riches in the same spirit.
In this case, the blessing is obvious, but what is the lesson? I believe it is the lesson of gratitude. Rather than ruining my pleasure with useless guilt feelings, I can enjoy and appreciate the time of restoration God was giving me, then climb from the tub, dry myself off and see what I can do to help those in less fortunate situations.
Sincere gratitude almost always inspires both verbal appreciation and reciprocal actions. We show our thanks to God by passing on the blessing; wherever, and whenever, we can.