Belinda Kersey 7/17/07
“And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.” Luke 17:15-19
In a choir rehearsal, we were singing a simple worship song that says “I thank you, I thank you for all you’ve done and all that you will do. You’re faithful and I’m grateful. Lord, I thank you.” The room was filled with a wonderful spirit of thankfulness as many stopped rehearsing the song and actually sang it in praise to the Lord. As I looked around the room I realized those who were singing it to the Lord with hands lifted were not those whose lives were going well or those who were in great health. The ones who were singing with the most passion were all precious children of God who were suffering in one way or another. One is battling cancer, another faces chronic pain, one lives with multiple sclerosis as I do. There were others with various trials and adverse circumstances but they chose to say thank you to the Lord. All of us had become foreigners to this world because heaven promises eternal life without the pain we are going through now.
We all cluck our tongues over the nine lepers who didn’t thank God for their healing but it’s possible they had never had the spirit of thankfulness dwelling in their hearts. It is specified the one who returned was a Samaritan and a foreigner. It is probable he had experienced persecution and prejudice two-fold because of his ethnicity as well as his disease. When he was healed he not only received physical healing, he received compassion despite what others saw in him. He knew he had much to be grateful for.
If you can only thank God for what He is doing RIGHT NOW and you can’t remember the past and you can’t see the future then you don’t have true thankfulness and contentment in your life. Even if RIGHT NOW you can’t see what God is doing or if it seems He is doing nothing, we need to reach deep inside and thank Him for His past works and praise Him for what He will be doing from this moment on.
One of the verses of the song mentions God is closer than a brother and a friend like no other. In our most difficult times in life, it would be great if our family and friends could drop everything and comfort and care for us. But we do have a comforter who will be closer than a brother could ever be. We have a friend in Jesus who will never leave our side no matter how tough our lives become.
I’ve realized those of us who have struggled and have a few battle scars tend to be oh so grateful to God for just being able to breathe our next breath. We know what He has brought us through and we know where we would be without Him. When thankfulness comes through sacrifice then it becomes a wonderful fragrance to our Lord and we are better equipped to face what life brings our way.
Take a few minutes to thank God for Who He is and for His faithfulness even in the times when you haven’t been faithful. Thank Him for what He has done in your past and for what mighty acts He will do on your behalf from this moment forward.