Luke 17:11-19 gives the account of ten lepers and Jesus. The men approached our Lord to heal them of their leprous condition. He gave a simple instruction, “Go show yourselves to the priests”. The lepers were on their way to do as He said and they were healed. One of the lepers decided he needed to go back to Jesus to say, thank you. Upon seeing the man, Jesus asked, “Were there not ten men cleansed? But, where are the nine?”
I desire to attempt an answer to the questions. Why did only one man return to thank Jesus? What happened to the other nine men that got healed? Why did they fail to return to give thanks?
Leprosy is a disease that ravages the body. It has the capacity to cause skin disease, faulty nerve response, deformed toes and fingers, eye disease and even blindness. In the Bible days, leprous persons were treated as outcasts. They lived outside the community and had very little interaction with others. They were unable to have the things that others had. It was mostly a hopeless situation. Even today, there is a lot of stigma attached to the disease.
It is difficult for one to be grateful when s/he is in the habit of magnifying losses. Perhaps the nine men who failed to return to Jesus considered their losses; the years wasted, the family milestones missed, the opportunities they were unable to take, the shame they had to bear and more. They probably considered their physical disabilities – the fingers that have been made shorter, the scaling skin and the defective eyes. They may have thought of all these and had regrets or strong anger for their need to go through such in the first place.
Thanksgiving is an attitude of someone who amplifies the positives above the negatives. A grateful heart is one who looks around and acknowledges that despite the bad times, the good times were possible only by the grace of God. The ungrateful heart forgets quickly. The grateful one remembers. It recalls the mercy drops of sleeping and waking up. It notices the ‘small’ success of going out and coming in. It recognises peace, love, friends, family, food on the table, clothe on the back and other ‘little’ but mighty blessings, as divine.
The difference between the one man who returned with gratitude and the nine who left is perspective. A person who is always overwhelmed by the spirit of entitlement would have nothing to be grateful for. You are where you are today only by the grace of God. No one is qualified, in the true sense of the word, for the good that they experience. It is by the sure mercies of God that we stand.
Like me, you may have lost much this year. Refuse to be dismayed. The fact that you can read this article is a reason to be grateful. Some have gone through less and lost their minds in the process. Do you have outstanding prayer points? Pause and think about those things you got without even asking. Think about the privilege of considering alternatives. Ravaged as you may feel, bow down and give praises to the owner of life. Think right, so you can thank more.
One thing more on seven years of plenty and seven years of Famine
As I concluded last week’s write-up it was impressed upon my spirit that there was one more point to add but I was so tired that I decided to send it all the same. I woke up the next morning with this thought…
- Seasons are divinely determined. The one that is connected to God will be pre-informed and or protected from the adverse effect of a recession. Stay connected.