Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.Ephesians 5:20
In today’s verse the Apostle Paul tells us to be thankful for everything. Now without a doubt there are plenty of terrible things going on in the world around us all the time. But thankfulness is more than simply a play by play analysis of life as if it was some sort of cosmic football game. Instead the gratitude that God has in mind is about seeing things as God sees them as we come to worship.
We see the pot holes in the road while God sees the end of the journey. We feel the cold of the winter wind while God sees the roots of the trees resting while they gather their energy for spring. We are angry over hurtful words spoken to us while God is hoping it will give us opportunity to learn to forgive. We experience the loneliness of eight months of this Covid-19 shutdown but God is reminding us of what and who matter most in life.
We may not be able to see loved ones but we can tell them we love them by a card or a phone call. Maybe we won’t have a chance to sit at a table with our family for Thanksgiving but Jesus has promised us that He will sit down at the table with us wherever we are. God is good. We have much to be thankful for even in 2020! May God bless you and Happy Thanksgiving!
And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole. Luke 17:17-19 KJV
To understand this story we need understand a little about leprosy in the Bible. Far from being just an affliction of the poor, those with leprosy ranged from generals and kings to even a man named Simon who was one of Jesus’ closest friends. Because of both the law and its contagious nature, those with leprosy were required to live separately from others. Without divine intervention eventually lepers all ended up outside of town with no companions except for their fellow lepers. That is where Jesus met the ten men that day. When they first saw Jesus they shouted at the top of their lungs for help from a distance. They had heard how Jesus had healed others and hoped that He would do the same for them.
Don’t we all pray like that some days? God seems far away; but we hope that if we ask loudly enough, maybe He will listen. What we need to know is that Jesus is actually a lot more willing to help us than we think. In fact just as healing the ten lepers was the main event for Jesus that day so your request and mine matters deeply to Him right now. He knows our hearts and He chooses to come close even when others stay away. But transformation from leprosy to health is only the beginning of what God has in mind. What He really wants is to be close and for us to fall at Jesus’ feet and be made whole as we give thanks!