Thankfulness—what a great exercise! It makes the heart healthy and puts a smile on our faces. It even lifts a weight from our shoulders. Why, then, do we often neglect to do it?
I think of the 10 lepers who cried to Jesus for physical healing (Luke 17:11-19). He granted their request. What happened? Nine healed and happy men ran off. Only one thought to say thank you.
This guy fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet in gratitude. The other nine guys appreciated being healed, too, I’m sure. After all, their lives were forever changed. They’d be accepted into society again. Allowed to live in community, to work, to worship, to come and go like everyone else. They may have felt like they’d won the lottery, but they failed to extend even a common courtesy for this extraordinary event.
Jesus noticed their oversight. “Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”
I’d like to think that if we’d been healed from leprosy, we’d pause long enough to express gratitude to God. Better yet, I’d like to think that we express thankfulness not just for the big things but also for the little things that we enjoy every day.
God does so much for us every day. He gives us our next breath, and the next, and the next. He gives us clean water, food, clothing, health, safety, homes in which to live. He gives us sight, hearing, minds to think and reason. He gives us His written Word, the promise of His presence, forgiveness for sin and the joy of a clean conscience.
Some of these things we take forgranted. No doubt we appreciate them but sadly we often neglect to extend the common courtesy of saying thank you because we simply forget. Busyness consumes us, and we go on our own merry way without a second thought toward the Giver of every good and perfect gift.
Let’s choose to follow the one leper’s example and become intentional about expressing gratitude. I’ll start: “God, thank You for the rain—liquid sunshine—we experience here. Because of it, we can enjoy the lush greenery that makes our location so beautiful.”
Now it’s your turn. For what will you give thanks today?