It took nearly 40 years for me to fully acknowledge that all things come from God. And, when asked to give something back, it shouldn’t be a second thought, since everything comes from Him in the first place. This is how our kids give- freely – and they don’t give it a second thought. When they see a need, they try to fill it. One little girl brought a can of vegetables everyday for a week to fill a box in the classroom for the food pantry. Her mom noticed that the pantry shelf was getting emptied quicker than she was using the canned goods. The little girl responded that she appreciated her mom having just filled the shelf because there were hungry families waiting for the food. Thankfulness in its truest form.
Thankfulness is a conscious response that comes from looking beyond our blessings to their source. As Christians, we have been forgiven, saved from death, and adopted as God’s children. There could be no better reason for a grateful heart!
Lepers in Jesus’ day were social outcasts. Their contagious condition ostracized them from those they loved. When ten lepers encountered Jesus, they desperately implored Him to show them mercy. Jesus sent them to the priest. As they obeyed, they were healed! These ten men were forbidden to enter their own villages, to live in their own homes, to work in their own jobs, or event to touch their own children. Imagine what unrestrained joy must have filled them as they ran home again!
One of the lepers, a Samaritan, stopped and ran back to thank Jesus. Samaritans were normally shunned by the Jews, but Jesus had healed him! Jesus asked, “Where are the others?” Ten lepers had been healed. Ten lepers were reveling in their newfound health, rushing to share the good news with those they loved. But only one considered the Source of that blessing and stopped to thank the One who had given him back his life. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. Luke 17: 15-16.
We, too, have been healed and made whole by the Savior. We are free to enjoy the abundant life the Savior has graciously given us. Could we, like the nine lepers, rush off to glory in our blessings without stopping to thank our Redeemer? Our worship, prayers, service, and daily life ought to be saturated with thanksgiving to God! —Blackaby