When He Does

Ten lepers – unclean, contagious, and suffering with tremendous pain. They lived in total isolation because no one would come within six feet of them, not even their families. Leprosy is a degenerative disease that attacks both the body and the nervous system. Occasionally, an infected person can go into remission, but this is highly unlikely. These ten lepers were desperate because this diagnosis was practically a death sentence. Hearing that Jesus was coming through their village, the men went to look for Him. From a distance, they called out to Jesus.

“Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” – Luke 17:13

Moved with compassion, and seeing their faith, Jesus instructs the men to present themselves to the priest and they would be healed.

And as they went, they were cleansed. – Luke 17:14

Interestingly, the scriptures state that only one returned to thank Jesus for healing him from this horrific disease. All ten men were healed, but only one was moved with gratitude and thanksgiving for what the Lord did in his life. What happened to the other nine? Just a few hours before, they were eagerly longing for a touch from Jesus. Now that they received their healing, they totally forgot about Him.

Ladies, isn’t this often the case in our lives? We get so desperate for Jesus when we need something – healing, breakthrough, or salvation. But, what happens to us when He does answer our plea? Are we moved with heartfelt gratitude and thanksgiving that we can’t do anything else but return to Jesus with arms open wide? Or, do we instantly forget what He’s done for us and go about our daily routine?

Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” – Luke 17:17-18

Jesus expects thankfulness. The scriptures clearly show His disappointment in the nine who didn’t return. Where would you fall in this story? Are you the one who is overwhelmed with love and gratitude and returns? Or, are you one of the nine who forgets the true source of your breakthrough? Ask yourself this question today, “what will you do when He does?”

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An Abundant Life

My favorite holiday, without a shadow of a doubt, is Thanksgiving. There are no gifts involved, excessive cookie baking to do, or elaborate decorations to hang. It is simply a day to come together with family and friends and celebrate God’s faithfulness. Every year, my entire family gathers around the dining room table with enough food to feed an entire football team. Some time after the salad and stuffed bread, but before the turkey, we participate in a beloved annual tradition – the passing of the talking stick. My kids made this feather-adorned stick during their preschool days. Whoever is holding the stick simply needs to state what he or she is thankful for.

It doesn’t sound like much, but it is my favorite part of the entire day. My heart overflows with joy as I hear the different blessings each person wants to thank God for. Some are recited through tears, others read from a prepared list, but all come from a heart of gratitude and contentment.

“They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness”

Psalm 145:7

In all our years of participating in this ritual, it’s interesting that not once did I ever hear anyone thank God for money, things, or prestige. Typical thanks include the love and support received from family and friends, for health and safety, and for special memories that were made. Because when it is all said and done, these are the only things that matter. These are the characteristics of an abundant life.

Ladies, we need to remember this truth as we “do life.” We need to stop looking for happiness in the acquisition of things. We need to invest more time in doing the things that we love with the people we love.

There is nothing wrong with having things, as long as we realize that true contentment comes from the things that don’t have a price tag. And those are the things that God graciously provides for an abundant life. And that is something to truly be thankful for.

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations." - Psalm 100:5-6

Happy Thanksgiving!