One day, when Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, he entered a village and was approached by ten lepers who called out, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" Jesus saw them and told them to go and show themselves to the priests, which was the customary way for lepers to be declared clean and re-enter society. As they went, they were healed of their leprosy.
Realizing that he was healed, one of the lepers turned back and praised God with a loud voice. He fell at Jesus' feet and thanked him. Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?" Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well" (Luke 17:11-19).
Do you ever wonder why those nine didn't return to thank Jesus? Here are some possible reasons why they didn’t.
One waited to see if the cure was real. One waited to see if it would last. One said he would see Jesus later. One decided that he had never had leprosy. One said he would have gotten well anyway. One attributed the miracle to the priests. One said, "O, well, Jesus didn't really DO anything." One said, "Any rabbi could have done it." One said, "I was already much improved."
This would have been funny if it wasn't so true. Over the past several years, I have seen people say the same things (or slight variations of them) so many times. People pray for healing or ask others to pray for them, but when they are healed, they put it down to everything but the hand of God.
There was this person who was desperately searching for a parking space because he was late for an important appointment. "Oh Lord," he finally begged. "Help me find a parking space and I will go to church every Sunday." Just then, a parking spot opened, and he said, "Oh, never mind, Lord. I just found one." Do you see?
Let us not be like this. Let us be grateful people. Paul urged us: Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). This does not mean that we should be grateful for everything that happens to us, but rather that we should look for reasons to be thankful in every situation, even the challenging ones.
Paul understood that trials and hardships are an inevitable part of life and that it can be easy to become discouraged or lose hope in the midst of them. However, he also knew that God is sovereign and is always at work in our lives, even amid difficulties. Therefore, giving thanks in all circumstances acknowledges God's presence and faithfulness in our lives and trusts that he will work all things together for our good (Romans 8:28).
So let us choose gratitude today, thanking God for everything he does. God bless you.