Give Thanks

“One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”  Luke 17:15-18

In this story from the bible, ten lepers cried out to Jesus for healing. They stood at a safe distance away from him because lepers were considered contagious and they were forbidden, by law, to come near the population as they were considered “unclean”. Jesus looked at the lepers, saw their need and told them to go and show themselves to the priests – as was the custom – to verify their cleansing. The lepers obeyed Jesus and they were soon healed of their disease along the way. But one man, when he saw that he was healed, returned to Jesus to thank him. One out of ten. Maybe the other nine were so consumed with thoughts of being returned to the general populace, regaining their lives or just giddiness over being healed. Jesus’ reaction to the one man who returned is significant. It shows that Jesus appreciated that this one man took the time to stop, acknowledge his blessing and give God praise.

You would think that we shouldn’t have to be reminded to say thank you. In a perfect world, I suppose that would be true. But we forget about it all the time – how many times have you had to remind your children: “Don’t forget to say thank you!” In our present day, we often get caught up in the pursuit of things, taking care of families and earning an income. Sometimes, we get so busy that we take our blessings for granted or we don’t even see them. Thanksgiving is the one day of the year when we are all reminded to be thankful for what we have, whatever it may be. God wants us to appreciate all that he does for us. I’ve found that the more grateful I am for his blessings, the more he does for me. He keeps me constantly in awe, thinking – “Wow! God did you just do that?” Or maybe it’s not that he’s doing more. Maybe I just finally see what he’s been doing all along and acknowledge his blessings.

Today I want to thank God for the many people in my life who support and encourage me. Thank you to the men in my life who stepped up to the plate – you have been father figures, mentors and good role models for my children. Thank you to the women who loved and cherished them and even chastened them, when needed. I know I did not raise them alone. Thank you to my children – you encouraged me and gave me strength. The seed I planted in you has returned to me multiplied many times over. Thank you to my friends and cronies who have been privy to the details of my most private pain and also witnessed my victories. You all have been my greatest cheerleaders – you helped me to believe in myself. Thank all of you for ministering to me. Most of all, I want to thank God for help. Sometimes, it comes in the form of miracles. And sometimes, he sends people.

Be blessed,