Here are my thoughts on “blessings”:
I tend to think that blessings are all relative. What it comes down to is that perhaps the people in third-world countries are not on the same mental realm as we are, and I certainly don't mean that in a cruel way--only a realistic one. Here in America, the land of plenty, we tend to equate “blessings” with “money”, or things that are purchased with money. In other words, the more money you have, the more “blessings” you have…or so it would seem. However, the people in third world countries who are starving every day probably feel "blessed" each minute that they remain alive. They feel "blessed" when they can eat twice in one day. They feel "blessed" when the CARE plane arrives with some much-needed supplies and medications for their children. They feel "blessed" that there are caring people in this world who will make time for them and try to help them.
Unfortunately, people here in America feel "lack" if they can't get to drive a Mercedes—that tends to be the attitude of an awful lot of people around where I live—but for that matter, there are people in every county in every state of the USA who are poor and starving, also, not just in third world countries. Most of these people have the ability to appreciate the little things that they are "blessed" with, like a roof over their heads, even if it's at the local shelter; or a hot meal, even if it’s at the local soup kitchen. In my profession, I see less fortunate people all the time. But when I delivered a Thanksgiving meal to a struggling grandmother and her two little grandchildren, the gratefulness I encountered was humbling! The little girls must have said thank-you at least ten times each, and they couldn’t have been more than four and six years old. It was a blessing from God for me to have the pleasure to meet such appreciative small children…they are truly being raised in the light of God’s Grace. And I imagine the small feast I brought was considered a blessing to them, as well.
I also see elderly people at the senior center we volunteer at who still “hoard” food, even though they are not for want at all. I would imagine some of them experienced the repercussions of living through or right after the Great Depression and were raised to be frugal, even if they came into money later in life. So even though they are “blessed” with money that could make their lives easier, they choose to live meagerly. That’s one of the reasons I personally don’t consider money the only “blessing” one can have. It obviously doesn’t make a difference to some people for many reasons. And when it comes right down to it, the most obvious difference between America and third world countries is that we have plenty of money, and they don't.
I don't believe that God favors anyone. The world is the way it is, and it has been like this since the beginning of time. If there were no places on earth that were less fortunate than any others, and everyone had everything they ever wanted, we would be a very unappreciative planet indeed. And quite frankly, what would be the lesson? What would be the point of existence?
...Who really feels more "blessed"...the person who just got a meal for the first time in three days, or the person who just left the Mercedes dealership with a new car?
So “blessings” to me are the things in our lives that you just can’t put a price tag on. In my last post, I mentioned blue jays and dog smiles…and I can add to that list my husband's smiling face and the friend who takes time out of her busy day to pick up dishwashing detergent for me. Perhaps it’s the ability to appreciate these small things that’s the actual “blessing”—maybe a blessing is not a “thing” at all.
I believe that this life--our mere existence, whether "fortunate" or "unfortunate"--is but a drop in the bucket of an endless universal eternity. At the end of our earthly existence, it won't matter one bit what any one person had or didn't have. We may not enter into this life alone, but we certainly leave it with nothing but our souls. I believe that there is a God who will appreciate how much we appreciated what was truly important while we were here. And perhaps for that, He will “bless” us with the gift of eternal life.