Giving Thanks!

“She fell at his feet and bowed before him, overwhelmed with gratitude.”

(2 Kings 4:37a NLT)

In 2 Kings 4 there is a story of a wealthy woman who lived in Shunem, who had no children. Because of her kindness to Elisha, the prophet, though her husband was old, Elisha told her she would have a son. The next year when Elisha was passing that way, just as he had said, she had a son.

One day, when her son was still a child, he went with his father to help him in his fields. While working, he complained to his father that he had a severe headache, so one of the servants carried the boy home, where his mother held him in her lap as he died.

She summoned Elisha, who, by God’s power, was able to bring the boy back to life. This is the only place in the New Living Translation where you find the word “gratitude.” The mother’s knee-jerk reaction was to fall at the feet of the man of God and worship the God of miracles in gratitude.

Can you begin to grasp the range of emotions that mother felt – to be childless, then be given a son, only to have him die at a young age, then have him be given back to her! Can you even begin to imagine anything for which you could be more grateful in that moment?

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

In Luke 17 there’s a story of ten men who had leprosy, who all cried out: “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” (Luke 17:13 NLT) Jesus healed all ten, but only one, a Samaritan (hated by Jews), returned to give thanks. In verse 16 it says: “He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking Him for what He had done.” This man, like the woman of Shunem, was overwhelmed with gratitude, leading him to worship at the feet of Jesus.

It’s interesting to me that the word which in this verse is translated “thanking,” is the word from which comes our English word “Eucharist,” that is commonly used to refer to Holy Communion. Those of us who know and love Jesus, participate in Communion as an opportunity to bow before our Savior, giving thanks to the One who did for us what we could never have done for ourselves.

Could that Shunamite woman have healed her son? Could the leper have healed himself? Can any of us heal ourselves of the deadly disease of sin, shame, and guilt? Of course not! Realizing that swells our heart with gratitude and thanksgiving.

Today, in America, is Thanksgiving Day.

As you pause to give thanks, many around tables filled with food, and loved ones and friends with whom to share it. Please don’t forget to thank the One who made America possible. Who gave you the food, the family, and the friends you so appreciate and enjoy. He who has forgiven you and cleansed you of all unrighteousness as you knelt at His feet in humble submission to His authority in your life.

Even if you’re alone as you read these words, give thanks to the One who is with you. He loves you more than you can imagine. Even if these are hard times and you’re struggling to find something for which you can be thankful, understand that gratitude is a decision, not an emotion. Thank Him that you have the gift of life. Determine afresh today, you’re not going to waste that precious gift. Reach out to someone and let them know how much you love them and how grateful you are to have them in your life.

Bow before your Savior, the Lord Jesus, and confess your need of Him. Confess your desire to please and honor Him above all else. Confess your willingness to let Him lead you wherever He decides, helping you do whatever He desires. You may not feel it, but make the decision to be grateful today.

Something I would be remiss if I didn’t mention – I’m grateful for YOU! Thank you for taking the time and making the effort to read these articles. I pray you’ll sense the Lord’s loving closeness on this special day.

Blessings, Ed 😊

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