Thank You!

“And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them,Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger (except this foreigner). And he said vnto him, Arise, go thy way, thy faith hath made thee whole.”

Luke 17:13-18

As I read this story of the ten lepers and how only one returned to say thank you, I get upset thinking about how ungrateful they were. The lepers were faced with a life-altering, life-threatening disease, and cried out to Jesus to save them from their morbid condition. Jesus was not obligated to stop and help them, but yet He had mercy on their physical condition and healed them. He gave them the solution to their physical problem, but only one found true cleansing and healing because of his faith. We applaud the one who turned back to give thanks, and we wonder at the other nine who did not even acknowledge Jesus for the miracle He had done for them.

Shamefully, there have been many days in my life when I, too, I did not acknowledge God. I allowed the sun to set without any praise or thanks to God emitting from my lips. I found a million and one things wrong with everything and everyone, but I forgot about my lungs that filled with breath, and my heart that beat effortlessly without any winding. I forgot about my eternal destination in Heaven, and did not take the time to say, “thank you Father”. I was headed to destruction in hell, but that changed the moment I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I did not have the career, car, or home I dreamed of, but I failed to see the many blessings God did provide me with. My heart was full of discontentment, and when I prayed for things, I demanded God answer “yes” to my prayers and was not patient in waiting.

When my prayers were answered, I often took them for granted, and did not thank God as I should. I was much like the nine lepers who failed to turn back and thank Jesus for what He had done in their life. Jesus did not only desire to heal their physical disease, but He sought to truly heal them from their spiritual disease of sin. He sought to provide for their greatest need of eternal life, not just to delay their inevitable physical death. I look at the many things God has done in my own life, and I marvel that He would love someone like me who was ungrateful to the One who has provided everything, forgetful of the blessings that are given to me moment by moment, and forgetful of the home He is preparing for me and the boundless joy of spending eternity with Him.

He has given me so much, but instead I tend to look at that which he has not given me. I forget the answered prayers for the job He has blessed me with, and the wife for whom I prayed for specifically. I forget the children He has given me, and the joy they have brought into my life. I forget the home He allowed me to be raised in, and I forget my mom, dad, sister and the many other family members who love me. I forget the roof, clothes, and food He provides, and I forget about the good friends He has brought into my life. I have lived a full life because of Him and this is just a small speck in comparison to the life I will live with Him for all eternity. God has given me so much, and yet, I have thanked Him so little. I have gone on my way instead of turning back and dropping on my knees to give thanks. Oh how guilty I am of not being grateful as I should to a God who has given me eternal life, and a God who is ever aware of what I need. Matthew 6:32 states, “(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.”

Which leper are you? Are you like the nine who simply go on their way, or are you like the one who returns and gives thanks to God? Are you only thankful for the physical things He provides? Do you thank Him for His forgiveness, mercy and love? May praise always be on our lips, as God is worthy of all honor, praise and glory. Let’s thank Him as we rise in the morning as He has given us another day of life, and praise Him before we succumb to sleep to thank Him for preserving us throughout the day.

Stay in the Fight!

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