As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. As he entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance, crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy.
One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan.
Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.” Luke 17:11-19
Thanksgiving is the day we meet together as family and friends and enjoy an elegant meal around a beautifully set table. We enjoy each other’s company and the moment happens so fast every year that we wish we could freeze that moment in time. Food and football are the yearly traditions that happen this day. It seems as if Thanksgiving Day is taking a back seat to the Christmas Holiday. This seems to begin earlier every year now. Without a day of gratitude, how can we be thankful at Christmas for the savior that came and died for us? The savior that came and was whipped within an inch of His life in order to be our healing. Gratitude is the beginning point of all joy. Having this as an attitude daily will make your day and the day of those around you. Let’s look at what true thanksgiving is with the above story of Jesus and the ten lepers.
This story is an example of how much work we as the body of Christ have at our hands. Jesus Himself healed ten lepers, and only one returned to thank Him. That is a serious lack of gratitude on the part of the nine lepers. It makes me wonder if their healing was complete. I think it was complete, I think Jesus was able to completely heal all ten lepers. The one leper was healed, but when he left Jesus, his faith was strong. Gratitude builds on our faith and makes us stronger. When you are grateful, you always are content in knowing God will always turn a bad situation into a good one.
The next thing that is true to thanksgiving is realizing who did the healing and allowing joy to happen in your life. The leper who was a Samaritan, not only had faith, but he was filled with joy. He know who healed him and he was praising God for the healing. Faith and joy keep the gratitude attitude going strong. Joy is not worldly happiness, but unending happiness that is knowing a degree of how much God loves you.
That brings me to the last element that keeps our gratitude attitude continuing and that is love. Love is the most important thing to keep your thanksgiving every day. When you understand a small degree of how much God loves you that makes a thankful heart. I know what the tenth leper was thinking. God healed me of heart failure, and sleep apnea and because of what He did in my life, it makes me understand a small degree of His undeserving love in my life. It took a receptive mind to allow God to show a degree of His love for me. The leper had a receptive mind, he lost all hope, and hope was presented to him in the form of Jesus. As the leper saw hope come to fruition, I saw hope slowly step by step tiptoe into my life over a slow process that completely transformed my life. The faith was built stronger; the joy filled my heart and love overflowed when a degree of understanding came to me.
Yes, I may wear my heart on my sleeve, I may get all emotional more than I should, but I would not trade this life that God has built up in me over the last six years. I would not trade the 37 years of pain and obesity because they brought me faith, joy, and love. All of the chaos that was my former life six years ago, seeing God slowly and methodically bring order to my chaos makes me understand the true meaning of thanksgiving. Every day is thanksgiving to me because God has grown my heart to love overflowing and the joy and gratitude attitude can never be stopped. Always be part of the 10%, your life will forever be changed, and everyday will be thanksgiving to you.
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.