in my devotional for today, there was one line that seemed to stand out more than all the rest::…”your freedom will mean your rising into the realm of joy and appreciation”.
as i thought about it, i realized an unshakable truth. when i am thankful, that is when i am truly free. free from the world and all its worries. free from the things that try to weigh me down, make me focus on what i don’t have instead of what has been graciously given to me. i’ve lived too many years as one of the nine lepers (see Luke 17.11-19), greedily taking in good gifts but then going on my merry way. i don’t want to be one of the nine. i want to be the “one of them [who], when he saw that he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. he threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him…” (verses 15, 16).
so here are the beginnings of today’s eucharisteo. (the funny thing about thankfulness:: once you become aware of all you’ve been given, it’s so easy to see the gift in everything—big and small alike.)
a good night’s sleep; a cup of coffee in the sunshine; blue skies; a full stomach; good friends; light breezes; laughter; blue ink in a journal; the quiet; clean fingernails; reflecting on the journey; His promises—again and again. and again; singing; manna (”For forty long years, God’s people daily eat manna—-a substance whose name literally means ‘What is it?’ Hungry, they choose to gather up that which is baffling. They fill on that which has no meaning. More than 14,600 days they take their daily nourishment from that which they don’t comprehend. They find soul-filling in the inexplicable. They eat the mystery.They eat the mystery. And the mystery, that which made no sense, is ‘like wafers of honey’ on the lips.’” [Ann Voskamp])
Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17.17-18)
May we be the foreigners who turn around, who return to the source of the gift and humbly thank the Giver.