"Paul David Tripp, writing in The Journal of Biblical Counseling, recalled a scene he had witnessed more than once on his various travels to India. But this time, for some reason known only to the Holy Spirit, the Lord struck him with the gravity of it all at a deeper level than he'd ever experienced before.
Passing through New Delhi, in one of the most horrible slums in the world, he stood transfixed before a three-year-old boy leaning against the cot of his ailing, perhaps dying, mother. The boy's eyes were hollow, his stomach distended, his face fly-infested - the very picture of massive, helpless, noxious poverty.
The tears that streamed down Paul's cheeks in observing this tragedy were indeed the heartfelt evidence of his compassion. He longed to sweep this boy and his mother into his arms, away from these dreaded depths of sorrow and endless need.
But it was more than mere compassion he felt. It was an awareness that neither he nor this little boy had chosen their circumstances in life. The blessings of being raised among plenty, nurtured by godly parents, educated in quality schools, and given over to Christ at a young age began to roll over him in waves, even as he did his best to comfort and console the needy pair before him.
""You cannot explain the difference between that little boy and me by anything other than the Lord," he wrote. "Standing there in that slum, I felt all the complaints I had ever spoken as if they were a weight on my shoulders. I was filled with deeper gratitude than I think I have ever felt in my life."
Not long after he arrived back home, Paul was visiting with a church leader from India who had come to the States to study. In the midst of their conversation, he asked the man what he thought of Americans, to which his guest responded - in polite, Asian style - "Do you want me to be honest?"
"Yes, I do," Paul answered.
But who could really be ready for this: "You have no idea how much you have, the man said, "and yet you always complain."
We'd all have to agree, wouldn't we? At many levels, America can be rightly accused of gross ingratitude. But can the church and the Christians in America be accused of the same thing?
Can you? Can I?"
-- Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy