Being grateful for the simple things in life, the ordinary events in life, the everyday run-of-the-mill routines…can be challenging at times. Life can be busy or situations too overwhelming. This year’s Thanksgiving season reminded me that it is often being grateful in the little things that can turn my heart back to living out thankfulness…but it is a choice.
Recently, I was reminded of the story in the Bible about the ten lepers that came to Jesus begging for healing. The ten men were living as outcasts, shamed by society as unclean, surviving in miserable conditions because of a disease they had no control over. Jesus granted their request immediately commanding them, “Go to the priest and show yourselves.” This was His way of showing compassion for the hurting and his power to touch hearts through healing weakened and scarred bodies. Nevertheless, those ten lepers had to take action. What a day that had to have been for these ten men as they were given a new lease on life, a freedom to return to their families and once again be a vital part in their communities. The transformation must have been captivating to their souls—how could they not rejoice!
Too often humans (like you and I) skip the gratitude piece after answered prayer because it does not come naturally (why do we teach our children to say please and thank you!) — the pain, the hurt or the stress that existed before and now is gone is forgotten all too quickly. On other occasions, it may just be inconvenient to stop and offer a prayer of thanksgiving, or walk across the street, or pick up the phone and just say a heart-felt “thank you.”
As the biblical story goes, only one leper out of the ten returned and thanked Jesus for the miracle performed in his life that day. Only one man, a Samaritan who society looked down on, took an action that defined a genuine response. He came back and said thank you to Jesus, recognizing God as the Source of his healing. Jesus declared that this man’s faith had made him whole. This Samaritan was the One—the only one to express heart-felt gratitude.
I have to believe that this one man’s life became truly transformed physically as well as spiritually. Proven scientifically, acknowledging grateful moments is a positive catalyst in our lives. A grateful heart becomes a joyful heart because a heart full of thanksgiving overpowers the negatives that bring us down. As we enter the Christmas season which should be filled with joy, I challenge each of you to find at least one grateful moment in each day as you journey through Advent. It is a choice and takes an action on your part, but be the one.
Be the One to say thank you first.
Be the One who takes the time to act and bless another.
Be the One that looks away from selfish gain.
Be the One who acknowledges the Source of all good things.
Be the One who reaps the pleasure of gaining joy.
Be the One with a grateful heart that overflows into those around you.
Be the One who shines an inner light to pierce the darkness in our world.
Be the One to find joy in the ordinary part of your day.
Be the One…
Your joy-filled heart can change a moment in someone else’s life. Turn your thanksgiving into joy each and every day, and spread God’s love throughout your corner of the world.
I am grateful for each one of you because you bring joy into my life. Thank YOU for being who you are!