Last week I taught a children’s Sunday School class. But, I’m pretty sure I was the one most impacted by the lesson.
It was about when Jesus healed ten lepers. Because the disease was infectious, with open sores and often crippling deformities, the victims were considered to be unclean. Consequently, they became instant outcasts. Not only did they suffer horrific physical symptoms, they also experienced devasting emotional and psychological effects as a result of the enforced isolation.
Can you even fathom what that would have been like? To have to leave everyone you love–never being able to give or receive even a hug?
Then, they saw Jesus. They’d heard about all the miracles He’d performed. From the required distance, they began yelling–begging him to heal them.
Immediately, Jesus had compassion on them. He instructed them to go and show themselves to the priest. They would be the one else who could declare them clear on each more. As they walked, an amazing transformation happened. The sores, and every other debilitating effect of the dreaded disease, simply disappeared!
I became animated as I was describing the scene to the children. Suddenly, I could imagine what it must have been like. To look down and actually watch fingers grow back— skin becoming soft and supple. For a moment, I was overwhelmed.
I asked the kids to guess how many of the lepers returned to thank Jesus. After hearing about such an incredible, life-altering miracle, initially they said all 10. It took a joule of tries to whittle the number down to only one. ONE.
How could they have been so ungrateful? Why wouldn’t they have run back with an overwhelming sense of gratitude?
Then, I was faced with the truth. How am I any different? Chances are, those men had simply moved on, immediately returning to family and friends. They didn’t take the time to pause and say “thank you” to the One responsible for their new life.
How many times have I done the same thing? Cried out to the Lord, imploring Him to intervene in my circumstances? But then, when He answers my prayer, am I not equally guilty about how quickly I can move on, in essense taking the “healing” in stride? As though somehow I deserved it?
Suddenly, I was confronted with my own ingratitude. And my need to change. To stop and actually take the time to genuinely thank God for each and every miracle that unfolds before me on a daily basis.
How about you? Will you join me in praising the Lord for the healing He has done in your own life? Let’s start being more aware of all the amazing blessings that we take for granted and give God the praise He deserves!