(This year’s offering of ducklings for which I am thankful! Love observing the mother as she protects and watches over them. God-given instinct!)
I am in the midst of reading a book entitled “A Resilient Life” by Gordon MacDonald. I highly recommend this book be added to your reading list. Awesome insight and truths! The title of the chapter I will be referring to today is “Resilient People Overflow With Gratitude.” The biblical passage referenced in this chapter is Luke 17 which relates the story of the ten lepers who were healed.
This is one of the passages I remember learning about as a child in Sunday School. As a refresher, ten men with leprosy came across Jesus on the road between Samaria and Galilee. They cried from afar for “pity” and Jesus responded by telling them to “Go show yourselves to the priests.” As they went they were healed. (Luke 17:14) The following verse tells “the rest of the story.”
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. “Where are the other nine?” Jesus asked. “Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” (Luke 17:15-16)
Gordon MacDonald states and I quote, “Jesus is making a point: gratitude is important to Him. The story is there for one reason: to underscore the importance of gratitude as the completion of the experience. Two sets of words are underlined in my Bible: “he came back,” and “Where are the other nine? The thankful spirit–the intent beneath the words–is the result of continuous discipline, because gratefulness isn’t a natural or instinctive thing for most of us. Perhaps the fact that the nine never came back illustrates this. Thankfulness is a learned transaction, and it comes with the realization that I neither deserve nor am entitled to blessings. At best I am a graced recipient of all I have and am. ” (end quote)
And to that I say with a convicted spirit, “AMEN!” How often I find myself a part of the nine lepers who never returned with thanks because I take blessings for granted and I get distracted, moving on to the next thing without taking time to praise God. So presumptuous of me. There are no excuses!
“We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts. How can God entrust great things to one who will not thankfully receive from Him the little things.” Thomas Kelly (Quote from the book “A Resilient Life.”)
May we take time in this day, this moment and those to follow and give God the praise He deserves. May we actively develop discipline for this spirit of thanksgiving. We get so wrapped up in life being “all about us” and forget the Giver of Life. Time for gratitude and making a conscious effort to include that in our thinking. If that is indeed part of “A Resilient Life” then I want it. One last shared scripture from the book, an eye-opening one considering the current condition of this world.
“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him.” (Romans 1:21)
Please give this some deep, life changing consideration. I am! To God Be the Glory!