My life these days consists of: laundry, work, dirty diapers, dishes, and occasionally making dinner. Then, when that is done, I go to sleep and do it all again the next day. I’m just guessing that some of you can relate. Someone once told me that these years with young kids are the “longest days but shortest years of your life.” I believe it.
But, lately, I’ve been reminded – over and over it seems, that I am to be thankful in all things. Really, my life is pretty wonderful. I have a husband that is so sweet to me and that I love dearly. My kids are healthy and happy and so fun. I have a job that I can’t believe I get to do everyday. I serve at a church with amazing people who have such tender hearts towards God. And, I follow a God who has the best in mind for me.
So, I’ve been telling God “thank you” more. Because recently I’ve been reminded of this encounter with Jesus in Luke:
While traveling to Jerusalem, He passed between Samaria and Galilee. As He entered a village, 10 men with serious skin diseases met Him. They stood at a distance and raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
When He saw them, He told them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And while they were going, they were healed.
But one of them, seeing that he was healed, returned and, with a loud voice, gave glory to God. He fell facedown at His feet, thanking Him. And he was a Samaritan.
Then Jesus said, “Were not 10 cleansed? Where are the nine? Didn’t any return to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And He told him, “Get up and go on your way. Your faith has made you well.”
Something about it struck me this time that I haven’t noticed before. Re-read verse 19 if you would.
And He told him, “Get up and go on your way. Your faith has made you well.”
Did you see it? Jesus said, “Your faith has made you well.” But wait, I thought that they were already healed? Why does Jesus need to heal him again? I dug into that in some commentaries and found an interesting perspective linking faith with gratitude. The Broadman Bible Commentary says, “Faith must involve something more than belief in the miracle-working power of God. It also involves the recognition that his mercies are undeserved, which means that gratitude is an essential concomitant of faith. Nine of the men had been healed in vain in that their selfish spirits had not been changed. Only one had responded spontaneously to God’s goodness and had recognized the relationship between Jesus and God’s mighty acts. Therefore, only one really had faith.”
Gratitude is an essential part of faith. I had not thought about that before but I now can’t get it out of my mind. How am I showing gratitude to God in my life? For one thing, I have started to tell Him thank you so much more than I used to. Jesus is the giver of all good gifts (Jas 1:17) and so I need to be sure and thank Him for those gifts. And, I need to notice the gifts in the first place.
I don’t want to have a selfish spirit. Lord, teach me and remind me anew to be thankful in all things.
Amy Lowe manages LifeWay’s short-term Bible study team, producing small group resources from authors like Beth Moore, David Platt, Priscilla Shirer, Kelly Minter, and others. She and her husband Matt (who also works at LifeWay) have two children and live in Nashville.