In life, we have choices to make with our attitude. Will we be thankful or will we see only the problems and issues that surround us? What will we choose to do?
To be thankful is not to pretend like there are not problems, there are. But to be thankful to understand that in spite of any problems that we may face, there is still something that we can rejoice in, there is still something that we can give thanks for. Listen to what happens to Jesus today in Luke 17: 11-18:
11 On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. 12As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, 13they called out, saying, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ 14When he saw them, he said to them, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were made clean. 15Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. 16He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. 17Then Jesus asked, ‘Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? 18Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?’
Jesus heals 10 individuals of leprosy. Leprosy was a disease that separated you from everyone. You were literally untouchable. You were separated from everyone that you loved, from activities, from the worshiping community, from everyone.
In Jesus’ day it was about the worst diagnosis someone could get. It was life changing and life altering. It was a life of solitude and loneliness. It literally meant that you were an outcast.
So, it is miraculous to see Jesus heal these lepers. He only tells them to go and show themselves to the priest. He doesn’t tell them to come back and say thank you.
Yet, of the ten, only one choose to do that. Only one, after years of separation from others, chooses to return and say thank you. Only one returns with a grateful heart to the one that changed his life.
What about us? Do we return to Jesus with a grateful heart? Do we return to him with thanksgiving in our hearts? Do we return to Jesus to say thank you?
Today, in spite of everything, you are loved. Jesus loves you. He does. He has forgiven you. He has. Have you said thank you?
Today, is that thank you our focus, or are the problems our focus. Because yes, there are going to be problems. There are going to be issues. There are going to be things that are imperfect. Is that our focus?
Or is the fact that you are a beloved child of God your focus.
Nine didn’t say thank you.
Today, which are we?