Early this morning I woke with an old fashioned term rolling in my head…
Not just feeling thankful, but saying it.
Through the years we are each impacted with blessings that come from someone special, or even a group of folks that know how to be a blessing. We are even blessed by complete strangers! We think they know and understand how we may feel, but there is always a special feeling you get when someone thanks you for the blessing or gift you have given.
So take a moment and be thankful to someone who has given you something special. Do not simply “say” you are thankful, but in some simple way let them know how you feel. Perhaps a simple note mailed and unexpectedly received is all that is needed. But there are ways to show your thankfulness that can be double blessing!
Every so often, some line of Starbucks customers will start a chain of blessings. Pay for the customer behind you. It takes someone to pay for their own order, but include the order placed by the car behind. That customer ahead of you is long gone by the time you realize what has happened! You feel a warm and fuzzy thankfulness, so you pay for the car behind you. The chain is unbroken until someone stingy, or broke, comes through and cannot continue the experience.
This happened to us along the Columbia River in Washington a few years ago. It was a police officer that paid for our rather significant order and before we understood what was going on, the officer was gone on patrol. Of course, we continued the chain, but it made us drive more carefully because we did not want the officer to have to stop us!
Why do we struggle with showing gratitude? For some it is simply they were never taught. For others, well, let’s just say there are many reasons some never say “thank you”. And they will never learn how until they reach some crossroad in their life and realize all the blessings they have missed by keeping silent.
Jesus was traveling towards Jerusalem and at an unnamed little village 10 lepers stood afar off and cried out for Mercy. Leprosy, it is said, was a very common and contagious disease of the day. In the Law of Moses (Leviticus 13:45, 14:2-3) they were to be removed from everyone, and had to stand afar off and identify themselves as being diseased. They would cry out to warn everyone they were Lepers.
Well, these 10 obeyed the law, and from afar they cried for Mercy.
Jesus simply said, “Go show yourselves to the priest.” Trust me. Go to the priest and let them examine you. Go. Trust me. Without a big show, but with a lot of faith, Jesus performed a miracle and the priest will be there to confirm it. Just have faith with the words of Jesus: Go.
As they obeyed, one man realized that they were being healed as they went to the priest. Turning back to Jesus, he gave glory to God for the miracle. When he reached Jesus, he fell down at his feet with his face to the ground and gave thanks. Then the book of Luke says a unique thing: “…and he was a Samaritan.” (Keep this thought in mind for a future blog!)
Jesus questions him, “Were there not 10 that were cleansed? Where are the other nine? Except for this stranger (foreigner), could only this one return to give praise to God?”
Do they not have an attitude of gratitude? Are they so thoughtless and selfish?
Jesus turns to the one with the correct attitude and states an even deeper miracle:
And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17:19 NKJV)
It was more than a simple healing. This statement declared the man saved, delivered and protected. This same Greek word was used throughout the gospels and it has a deeper meaning than simply being healed.
- The woman with the issue of blood, made whole when she touched the hem of His garment. (Matthew 9:21-22)
- That ultimate salvation from sins at the pronouncement of his name at birth. (Matthew 1:21)
- Salvation that comes to the one who endures to the ending of it all. (Matthew 10:22)
Trust me… this is only the tip of the iceberg! Jesus is interested in more than a simple healing. It is not hard for him! But that saving and preserving action that can keep us to the end is what we should be seeking for. More than a healing…Preservation. Salvation.
For anything we receive as a gift, we should be truly thankful for it – you never know that your thankfulness will not simply open doors to something far greater. It’s never too late to backtrack through your memories. Be thankful. It’s a great attitude!