Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Grateful Heart

Jesus said in reply, "Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God? Then he said to him, "Stand up and go; your faith has saved you." - Luke 17:17-19
I have always wondered about the nine lepers who did not come back to thank Jesus. They had to be grateful. Leprosy is a death sentence. Not to mention the stigma attached to it  - being thought “unclean.” And they were separated from friends and family. Forever.
Maybe they didn't realize the healing came from Jesus. Jesus had not “done” anything. He didn’t touch them or pray over them. He told them to show themselves to the priest. They were obedient and did what they were told. And they were healed on the way.
Only one leper realized that Jesus had healed them. Only one came back, overflowing with gratitude and falling at the feet of Jesus.
I used to think, many years ago, that I got myself through the rough times. That I pulled myself up by my own "bootstraps." When good things happened, I did not know to thank God. I did not know that all good things come from the Lord, even the strength that helped me through the rough times.
So I didn't know to thank Him. I didn't know to be grateful.
Now I know better.
But it's more than just knowing who to thank. It's taking the time to do so. It's cultivating that "attitude of gratitude." It's having the faith to know that God's hand is in every second of our lives, whether we "see" him doing anything or not.
Dear Lord, please give me a grateful heart. And help me to show my gratitude by falling at your feet, praying and praising you, through all the days of my life. Amen.


Carol@simple_catholic said...

I never thought of the story of the 10 lepers that way.

I can't tell you how many times in the past I thought it was through my own efforts that I got through a difficult spot or failed to thank the Lord for the good things in my life. {sigh}

Colleen said...

Carol, me, too. I think we all do. That's why it is so good to have the reminder. Guess the Lord knew we would need it! God bless!

Karinann said...

Great perspective on this one Colleen. I too sometimes wonder about those nine others- did the one who did return catch up to them and say Hey you forgot to thank Him! :)
I think though they are a great reminder to us for those times that we too simply walk away healed, never thanking God for what He has done for us. Plain and simple it's our pride. That pesky sin is at the root of just about all sin! Thank God for his patience and mercy!
Hugs and blessings!

Colleen said...

Karinann, thank you so much! And yes, let us thank God for his patience and mercy. We are blessed! Hugs back!

Barb Schoeneberger said...

Well, color me the same color. I also used to think my successes were by my own power and was frustrated when I couldn't make things go the way I wanted. Now I see that God was allowing me to have both failure and success so I would understand that He is behind everything and that He has a reason for it all, even if I can't figure out what that reason is right away.

Colleen said...

Barb, I love that - "color me the same color!"
When I realized that it was God helping me all along, then I also realized that God knew me even when I wasn't paying attention to him. Like the Footprints story. How awesome is that?!?!?!

evanscove said...

I realize that an "attitude of gratitude" is something I really need to work on cultivating. This story from the gospels is such a simple yet important example of our need to thank the Lord for His provision--especially for His gift of salvation.

God has seen me through a number of difficulties. I believe that He was watching over me during my backslidden agnostic years, for which I am extremely grateful! No, it's not by my own strength but His.

Thanks for this reflection!


Joann said...

Colleen, I'd like to think I'm like the one who returned and gave thanks but looking back over my life I realize what a slow learner I've been. At least all ten lepers obeyed Jesus when he said "Go and show yourselves to the priests." I haven't always obeyed. My gratitude is great when I remember the mercy and patience He have shown me.

Colleen said...

evan, I went several years without paying much attention to God. And I discovered that He was paying attention to me the whole time. THAT is what made me grateful. But I still need reminders. Writing and reading blogs help!

Joann, Amen! I so agree!

Kathleen@so much to say, so little time said...

It is good to acknowledge that we don't do anything without help. Thanks.

Colleen said...

Kathleen, thank you!