I took this picture a couple of years ago on my first trip to Brazil. I was amazed at how joyful these kids were in spite of having so little material wealth. I have so much to be thankful for, and yet it almost has the reverse effect on me. I did an exercise with one of my English classes last year when the kids were complaining about different things at the school. I had them list everything that they were thankful for. We spent about 10 minutes brainstorming, and by no means did we exhaust the topic. The problem is that, at least for me, I become enticed by what I don't have far more easily than I am satisfied with what I do have. And then what I don't have creates a longing for more, which leads me to an attitude of ingratitude.
Job faced one of the worst crises imaginable to any person: in one day he lost his worldly possessions along with his family. But rather than cursing God for the unimaginable, he decided that he would continue to praise God in spite of this devastating turn of events. My worst day doesn't come anywhere close to Job's worst day, and I find reason to complain when someone cuts me off while driving.
I think God wants me to have a greater appreciation for the blessings I have been given. As an American, I live with more material wealth than people of any culture ever before me. With all that I have, I certainly can praise God no matter what might happen. He has been so generous to me in life. Should He decide to take it all away, I want to have the same attitude as Job. I need to hold what I have loosely because He may ask for it all back at any moment, and I need to be willing to let it all go.