How Often We Forget!

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan.

Luke 17:16

While on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus came to a village on the border of Galilee and Samaria. Ten lepers called out to him for mercy, keeping their distance, as was expected of them. Jesus told them to go and show themselves to the local priest, who alone had the authority to proclaim them as cleansed and therefore to welcome them back in the fellowship of their family and friends. The lepers obeyed Jesus, and were healed on their way to see the priest.

But only one of the healed men returned to thank Jesus. As he was praising God, he saw Jesus and fell at his feet, “thanking him for what he had done” (17:16). Luke notes that this man was a Samaritan, one who was despised by Jews because of his ethnic and religious distinctiveness. Noting that only one man returned to thank Jesus, he asked about the others. Then he released the healed leper, affirming that his faith had healed him.

How often we forget to thank God for his goodness to us! How easily we take for granted all of his gifts. By doing this, we rob the Lord of the gratitude he rightly deserves. Moreover, we also rob ourselves from living the richest, fullest life possible.

Recently at Laity Lodge, our speaker was Dr. Keith Meador, a professor of psychiatry and preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University. As a scholar and a Christian, Keith was talking about what it would mean for us to flourish as whole, healthy people. Time and again he emphasized the centrality of gratitude to God. Gratitude not only enables us to live rich, full lives, but it also empowers us to help others flourish as well. Gratitude is essential, Keith explained, even during times of loss and suffering.

The story of Jesus and the ten lepers reminds me to be thankful. I need to take time today to consider how God has blessed me and to thank him for his exceeding goodness.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: How about you? Are you up-to-date in the gratitude department? Or, like me, do you find it easy to take God’s gifts for granted? Are you willing to set aside some time today to thank God for his blessings?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, I hate to think of how often I am like the nine lepers who were healed but never returned to say thank you. Forgive me for my ingratitude!

Right now I’m going to take some time to thank you. It won’t be all that you deserve, as if that were ever possible. But at least I can acknowledge gratefully many of your gifts to me.

Thank you, gracious Lord, for...

[Let me encourage you to take time to thank God specifically. If you don’t have time now, perhaps you can set aside some time later in the day for gratitude.]

For these and all of your good gifts, I thank you, Lord. Amen.