By Amy Groeschel
Every time you see in God’s creatures something pleasing and attractive,
do not let your attention be arrested by them alone,
but, passing them by,
transfer your thought to God and say:
“O my God, if Thy creations are so full of beauty, delight and joy,
how infinitely more full of beauty, delight and joy art Thou Thyself,
Creator of all!”
Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain
A few weeks ago I was in a funk of negativity. It was probably PMS, but nevertheless, I was not willing to endure its ongoing fury so I fought back. How? Through eucharisteo, which means thanksgiving. I was finishing lunch and I thanked God for my plate, my fork, and even the dirty dish that proved I was able to eat food. I continued:
Thank you, God, for this sink and the plumbing with clean water flowing through it. For my broom and for the family who dirties this floor. Thank you for each breath I breathe, that I can walk, for my health, and that I am loved.
On and on I went. Everything I touched or thought became an object of my appreciation. Unsurprisingly, my gloomy and critical heart transformed into one of peace and contentment. It was amazing. Why don’t I continually do this?
Why don’t we always give thanks?
In Luke 17:11-18, ten lepers were miraculously healed. This miracle not only cured a horrendous and painful disease, but it also freed these men to return to their families and rejoin their communities. Everything changed because of what Jesus did, but only one returned to thank Him.
It’s obvious to us that Jesus literally gave these men their life back. So why wouldn’t all ten return to lavishly thank Him?*
I believe that all ten healed lepers must have been beside themselves with joy and excitement! I bet none of them lacked a passionate realization that their lives were suddenly and miraculously transformed. Gratitude was probably in their hearts for the gift of healing, but nine of them missed acknowledging and appreciating the greatest Gift—the Giver of the gift, their Source of healing, their Healer and God.
The nine lepers’ lack of appreciation is actually not too hard to imagine. They did what many of us do today.
Have you ever been super excited by a gift you just loved, but neglected to properly and promptly send a thank you note to the gift-giver?
Like me, maybe you have failed to maintain a heart of thanksgiving for having the blessing of a good friend, a church, a job, family, or just simple everyday gifts like food, clean water, shelter, and good health. You enjoy these ongoing benefits of your life, but you’ve forgotten to acknowledge their Source.
James 1:17 teaches us where all good things are from: Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights…
Will you have eyes to see the Giver and not only the gift?
Let’s be the one who gives our thanks first.
Let’s be the one who truly sees every good thing we have been given and always acknowledges God, who gives all good things.
Let’s be the one who is first in thanksgiving!
- Write a thank you prayer to God
- Each day for seven days, write one thank you note to someone who has blessed you. Prayerfully ask God to reveal the people you need to write to.
- Prayerfully call at least one person to share your gratitude for them.
*An excerpt from Stay Positive’s I’m Grateful YouVersion Reading Plan