It's easy to question God, or even turn away from him, when you see the suffering in countries like India, Africa, Guatemala. This past Sunday, our pastor pointed out that we produce enough food to feed every living person a 3000 calorie diet! He made a wise suggestion that it's not God's will, but man's own doing. With dictators, leaders, greedy men and greedy countries throughout history, starving children are a normal atrocity in each of our minds, a "think of those people who don't have has much as we do" lesson for our children, something we feel hopeless to help and want to throw money at them when we can. Man's free will is a door to eternal love for the God, but it's also a door of a narrow tunnel, spiraling downward into a pit of selfish deeds that affect millions.
I couldn't help but talk with my kids about it today, when Thanksgiving came up. They hear it all the time (we participate in the mentioned-above lesson at least once a day), but can they really grasp it?
My husband is particularly sensitive to this, and fears that we are raising materialistic, selfish beings, entitled and arrogant.
Something else we as a family are finally going to do is put our kids to work...at the regional food bank! Next Thursday, I pray their little eyes will be open and their hearts will beat wildly in their chests for the thousands of people they will help feed this holiday.
Christmas presents are also going to be downsized at our house this year. We always feel like we have to spend so much, but there's so much more to it than that. And I hope we build a foundation of outward focus for the boys, not of internal satisfaction. One way is that we have always packed shoeboxes full of gifts and necessities for children in other countries through Samaritan's Purse.
Can you make a difference this year in your own children? Check out Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child, or find a local food bank to help stock, box, serve!