Giving Thanks

Jesus said in reply, “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God? Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.” – Luke 17:17-19

I have always wondered about the nine lepers who did not come back to thank Jesus. They had to be grateful. Leprosy is a death sentence. Not to mention the stigma attached to it – being thought “unclean.” And they were separated from friends and family. Forever.

Maybe they didn’t realize the healing came from Jesus. Jesus had not “done” anything. He didn’t touch them or pray over them. He told them to show themselves to the priest. They were obedient and did what they were told. And they were healed on the way.

Only one leper realized that Jesus had healed them. Only one came back, overflowing with gratitude and falling at the feet of Jesus.

I used to think, many years ago, that I got myself through the rough times. That I pulled myself up by my own “bootstraps.” When good things happened, I did not know to thank God. I did not know that all good things come from the Lord, even the strength that helped me through the rough times. So I didn’t know to thank Him. I didn’t know to be grateful.

Now I know better.

It’s more than just knowing whom to thank. It’s taking the time to do so. It’s cultivating that “attitude of gratitude.” It’s having the faith to know that God’s hand is in every second of our lives, whether we “see” him doing anything or not.

Dear Lord, please give me a grateful heart. And help me to show my gratitude by falling at your feet, praying and praising you, through all the days of my life. Amen.


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