Lent 2022 | Day 17: Thanks

In a season of contemplation and reflection, it’s important to stop and remember all the reasons why we can be thankful. Even in difficult times, there is room to appreciate the blessings we have access to, no matter how small. And so in this season of Lent, I think it’s important to look around us and get a sense of all God has been doing in our lives.

Giving thanks can be challenging when we see it has an obligation. But giving thanks is not something we should do because we feel the person deserves it. Giving thanks is what we do when we want to acknowledge what someone is done for us, blessing us in the process. When we give thanks as a response to the kindness of others it is a small token in light of the gift.

I am reminded of the story of the 10 lepers who as they passed Jesus asked him to heal them. Once the healing had taken place they went on their way rejoicing over the change of fortune that they had experienced. But the writer tells us there was one who came back to Jesus. That one offered his thanks to Christ while the others did not. We can ask ourselves why? What was it about this man that led him to make that choice?

When we give thanks as a response to the kindness of others it is a small token in light of the gift.

We will never know for sure this side of eternity. But I think it is worth considering that this man, when he realized what it meant that he could return to his life as he remembered it, was moved by the miracle of his healing. All the memories that sustained him up until that moment would become real again. Not merely distant recollections of a life he thought he would never return to.

While these are just assumptions based on what I imagine would be my response to the same event, I think many of us would confront the same doubts and fears as this man did. None of us ever really knows what we will do in difficult times. We can think about it and conceive of various scenarios of what we would do. But it’s not until we are living in the moment that we know for certain what we will do. This is the challenge of living life for a tomorrow that is known only to God.

As we continue our steady move towards the celebration of Christ’s resurrection we should remember all the reasons we have to give thanks. There may be some who could say they don’t have very many reasons for giving thanks. As difficult as it may be, if you find yourself in that position, I believe it is worth the effort to remember that if the only thing Jesus ever did for us was die for our sin that is enough to provide us entrance into eternal rest.

This kind of perspective is not always easy to sustain. However, it is worth trying to remember, as often as we can, the wonder of our salvation. A salvation purchased by the precious blood of Jesus and secured by the power of the Holy Spirit.

So my encouragement to all of us is to lift our eyes just a little bit higher; to not allow the affairs of this world to discourage us too much, and to put our trust in God to fulfill his word and promises to us.

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