Now this gets tricky.
I've spent a lot of time thinking about gratitude lately. I have mulled the thing over and over in my mind like a baker kneading bread. Here's my conclusion--I have a distorted concept of gratitude.
Gratitude isn't being thankful for all that you have because you see people who have less than you. It isn't walking away from those who are suffering, with a renewed sense of pleasure that you don't have to live like that.
Appreciating that you have everything you need and want isn't gratitude in its truest form. Sure, it's a form of gratitude, but its probably more just a natural response to take pleasure when you get what you desire.
Look at this definition of gratitude:
In everything give thanks for this is GOD's will for you in CHRIST JESUS 1 Thessalonians 5:18
This gratitude isn't thankful for the abundance of groceries I used to have access to. It's thankful for the small block of cheese I was able to buy here and for all the food that I was not.
It isn't thankful for the electricity and air conditioning I had in the States. It's thankful for the sporadic and surging electricity I have here.
Gratitude isn't thankful for well educated doctors, advanced hospitals and available vaccines we have back home. It is thankful that my sweet little Curly Girl lies in pain and fever beside me right now where we have no doctor.
Give thanks in everything. This means that when I have, I worship. This means when I don't have, I worship. Not later, but now in the everything.
I belong to GOD, HE is always with me. So, I can know that everything---no matter how painful or difficult it looks to me, HE is working for my good.
This is the thankfulness I see here in this dusty land. Guineans have electricity....sometimes. Their children are often sick, some deathly. Many are uneducated, and many are without proper shelter. But, they always smile at me. They always say thank you. They appreciate every pitiful little kindness I offer. So, should my lesson in gratitude then be to be thankful that I have it better than them? Or is the lesson to be thankful when I don't?