Thanksgiving is certainly one of the most needed things today – particularly in church. We have many prayer requests, but few are praises and thanksgivings to the Lord. Giving thanks is so healthy, so encouraging, so understated. Personally, I love not having repetitive jingles stuck in my head, little commercialism (compared to it’s bookend counterpart holidays on the calendar), and especially no gifts to buy – it’s just a day to be thankful.
For our family, when extended family plans unfortunately fell through, we decided to make the most of our first ever “staycation.” Our wallets liked the sound of that, and we were convinced or boys could have the same amount of fun if we were creative. For example: 1 night in a hotel (with indoor swimming), afternoon of horseback riding, evenings at the driving range to hit golf balls, 1 afternoon movie, nightly games like checkers, monopoly and wrestle with daddy, and of course a short trip to Cracker Barrel. But nothing compared to the gratitude Angie and I received from the boys when we simply drove around looking at Christmas lights.
After a couple of hours of this, they both were shouting “You are the best parents EVER!” It had happened – thankfulness! You see, I believe that thankfulness is a conscious response that comes from looking beyond our blessings to their source.
In Luke 17, only 10% of the healed lepers came back to thank Jesus – the Source of the blessing! These Lepers were social outcasts. Their highly contagious condition ostracized them from those they loved. These ten men had been forbidden to enter their own villages, to live in their own homes, to work in their own jobs, or even to touch their own children. Imagine what unrestrained joy must have filled them as they ran back home again!
One of the lepers, a Samaritan, stopped and ran back to thank Jesus. Jesus asked him, “Where are the others?” Ten lepers had been healed. Ten lepers were reveling in their newfound health. Ten men were joyfully rushing to share the good news with those they loved. But only one considered the Source of that blessing and stopped to thank and worship the One who had given him back his life.
We, too, have been healed and made whole by the Savior. We are free to enjoy the abundant life Jesus has graciously given us. Could we, like the nine lepers, rush off so quickly to glory in our blessings without stopping to thank our Redeemer? God looks for our thanks. Our worship, prayers, service, and daily life ought to be saturated with thanksgiving to God.