It rouses generosity. It expresses faith. It initiates a chain reaction that could well end in a miracle. And it plain down makes everyone feel good. Gratitude….simple but profound in its power.
How do you react when someone shows appreciation for a gift or an act of kindness? Doesn’t it usually make you want to give more? Or maybe someone thanks you for your prayers. Don’t you feel like getting right back on your knees? The genuine expression of gratitude moves us. It makes us want to keep giving.
When Jesus healed the ten lepers only one returned to thank him (Luke 17:11-19). The lack of gratitude in the other nine seems to have surprised Jesus; it contrasted sharply with the humble praise of this one grateful man—a foreigner no less. Not only was the leper cleansed, the faith he displayed in his thankfulness resulted in his salvation. A miracle occurred in the healing of diseased skin, but more importantly, in the healing of a diseased soul.
I always begin my day with thanksgiving. Gratitude is like a key that opens me up to the presence of God. I guess I take Psalm 100:4 quite literally: “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise.” Any of you familiar with the children’s book, Goodnight Moon may think like I do… that it’s the specificity of the room, the moon and the red balloon that makes it so delightful. Goodnight stars, goodnight air, goodnight noises everywhere. I see giving thanks like that. I believe it pleases God when we get specific in our thankfulness.
This morning I thank him for coffee with cream and iced sugar cookies, for letting me get back from my walk five minutes before the deluge of rain, for internet connection at the laundromat…for thoughts and words, words that encourage me, and words that I hope encourage you…
To give thanks.