I am on Day 7 of my 30 Days of Gratitude Devotional by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. The reading is found in Luke 17:11-15. It is a story about a leper healed by Jesus.
“On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, hew was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.’ When he saw them he said to them, ‘Go and show yourselves o the priests.’ And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks.”
One of the ten lepers, who stood at a distance, came close to Jesus and gave him thanks.
It is an insight I have never given much thought to, but after reading Nancy’s words, it opened my eyes and made me reflect on how thanksgiving affects my relationship with Jesus. When I am thankful, when I “praise God with a loud voice” meaning I tell other people what God has done and what he has given me, I am so much more aware of Him – it becomes natural and automatic to give Him thanks. And in turn I am drawn closer to Him because I realize my need to be healed and forgiven.
Just a few weeks ago I came home and immediately unloaded on David. I didn’t greet him, or ask him about his day, but the first words that came out of my mouth as soon as I opened the door were ones of complaint, anger, and annoyance about my day at work. I am so thankful that I married a man who isn’t easily ruffled by the day, because he put a stop to my not-so-pleasent mood.
He said, “Tanya, I understand that you feel this way and I am glad that we can talk about our days, but its feeling very negative. Can you tell me 5 things you were thankful for today?”
- I am thankful for the sound of laughter.
- I am thankful that we both have jobs with similar scheduling.
- I am thankful for a clean kitchen.
- I am thankful for the friendships I have with my co-workers.
- I am thankful that God is teaching me how to care for others.
Sharing, aloud, with someone the things I was thankful for in they day, turned my mood 180. It went from frustration and anger to joy. My day went from being about me to praising Him. I was reminded of the gospel. Its power to bring upon true awareness of my helplessness apart from Jesus. But even more, its power to transform my life with grace. It evokes so much more than a muted thanks. And it brings me closer to the feet of Jesus.
So say it LOUD and say it proud- give thanks and be drawn closer to our Savior.