😎🐫🎤 Christ’s peace and presence be with you. Welcome to December. It’s hard to believe we are almost at the end of 2021. I’m sitting here trying to think about all the journeys and changes, growth and learning this year has offered me, but…there is just too much to recollect it all. Life really does amaze me, but so often I take it for granted, not giving the proper recognition and thanks I should.
I was talking with my parents yesterday evening about a surgery I had on my right hand two weeks ago, that caused my index finger to be numb. That seems like a bad thing, right? Well, in reality not being able to feel anything in that finger has actually helped me work through the healing processes. How so, you may ask. Well, if I can’t feel the pain, then I don’t have a need for pain medication. By not taking pain medication, I don’t have to deal with any of the side effects. Don’t worry, the feeling is gradually coming back in my finger. I’m two thirds of the way there.
But was there gratitude and thankfulness 100% of the way? No. The day after my surgery I was rather concerned and ended up going back to my doctor’s office to have my hand evaluated. About a week and a half later when I got some feeling back and started to feel some pain, I was thankful it had been numb.
In Luke 17:11-19 we hear about Jesus healing the 10 Lepers and their reactions. ‘11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy[a] met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”
14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.
15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”’
The reason I bring this example to you is because you and I, in any given situation, can react just like those 10 lepers did. With my surgery and healing process I’ve had multiple opportunities to react to different elements for this process. Like the Samaritan Leper, some healing moments I recognized right away and paused to thank God. For example, when I realized I needed a hand specialist, I was thankful that when Brian broke his finger a few years back, he had a wonderful hand specialist that I would be able to go to. Another example is I was thankful right away that my doctor’s surgical nurse was someone that I knew from high school. Although we haven’t spoken in 36 years or so, it gave me great peace to know she was there beside me. Another example is how thankful I was to have Brian with me and caring for me. So many times, we take those closest to us for granted and forget to thank God for them and all they do. Now, on the other hand, pun intended, I certainly have my share of moments in which I act like the other nine lepers. The first day I realized my hand was numb, was I thankful? No. Did I thank God right away that I now had a less stressful job, which allowed me to take time off to heal and not worry about all the work that was piling up? No. Did I thank God right away for everyone that was and still are praying for me and my healing? No.
I may not have thanked God right away, but eventually I got to the point of thanking God. I share this all to say, sooner is better than later, but it is never too late to thank our Lord for every single blessing He has bestowed upon you and you have experienced. Just like my numb finger, some things may not seem like blessings in moments of pain or sorrow, but wait for it to develop, when you’re able to step back and look at the full picture. You may be surprised at all the brilliant colors and crisp clear lines that God developed from seemingly unrelated smudges and smears.
Bless others and be blessed.
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#Verses – Thankful