It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is only a week away! This year it falls on the earliest possible date, November 22nd.
As we look to Thanksgiving Day next week, it’s a wonderful time to celebrate with family and friends. Each family has their own traditions and customs, but they often include a time of sharing what one is thankful for. Life moves quickly and we can easily overlook the things we have that should bring about a spirit and attitude of thankfulness.
I am reminded of the story in Luke 17:11-19. In this story, Jesus was met by 10 lepers. They kept their distance but cried out to Jesus for healing. They knew He could heal them. He had a simple instruction for them. They were to go and show themselves to the priest. This goes back to God’s instruction in Leviticus 13 and 14. The priest was the one who could declare the leper “clean.” Jesus instructed these lepers to go to the priest for that declaration. They obeyed Jesus and as they headed to see the priest, they were all cleansed!
The Bible tells us that only one of the ten lepers came back to thank Jesus. Only one was praising God for what had been done. Each of the lepers had their lives changed in an instant. Yet only one demonstrated gratitude to Jesus. This shouldn’t surprise us. If we’re not careful, we can easily respond with a sense of entitlement and arrogance than with a sense of gratitude. It is the humble person who gives thanks for the work of the Lord. It is the humble person who recognizes they don’t deserve anything good from the Lord. It is the humble person who receives His work with thankfulness.
Next week as you reflect on all that you have…be thankful. Take time to slow down and think about all Jesus has done for you. He has given you eternal life! He offers peace, freedom, and salvation. Sometimes we can receive so much from the Lord we overlook all that He has done for us. Johnson Oatman wrote these words in 1897 “Count your many blessings, name them one by one; and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.” May God’s richest blessings be on you and your family this Thanksgiving season!