I read that Alex Haley, the author of Roots, had an unusual picture hanging on his office wall. It was a picture of a turtle on top of a fence post. When Mr. Haley was asked why he had a picture of a turtle on top of a fence post hanging on his office wall his response was:
“Every time I write something significant, every time I read my words and think they are wonderful and begin to feel proud of myself, I look at the turtle on top of that fence post and I remember that he didn't get there on his own. He had help. And so have I.”
The truth is all of us have had help to get to where we are today. The psalmist poses the question, “Where does our help come from?” Psalm 121:2 tells us, “My help comes from the Lord. The Maker of heaven and earth.”
The basis of thankfulness is to remember that we got here with the help of God, and that God is the provider of every blessing we receive. All that we have comes from our Gracious Lord. I think sometimes we forget that.
In Luke's Gospel, we can read about Jesus' miraculous healing of the 10 lepers. We can also read that only one of the ten returned to Jesus to give him thanks. That story has always bothered me. Where were the others? Why didn't they show their gratitude to Jesus?
Maybe they considered their healing to be coincidental. After all, Jesus hadn't touched them. He just told them to go and see the priest. Maybe it was just a coincidence that they experienced healing after talking to Jesus. Maybe they were just lucky.
Or maybe they felt they were in some way responsible for their healing. They were the ones who decided to give Jesus a try. They were the ones who cried out. They were the ones who acted in faith by heading to the priest. If they were grateful, they were grateful for their own wisdom and resourcefulness.
Or maybe they were just in a hurry. They were excited to get back to their families. They couldn't take the time to say thank you.
Still, I find it very hard to understand why only one returned to give thanks. That is until I think about all the good things that have happened in my life and the times when I did not say thank you to God.
Maybe you, too, have sometimes forgotten to praise the Lord for the many blessings in your life. The Thanksgiving season is upon us. I invite you to join with me in offering praise and prayers of thanksgiving on a daily basis. Let us not let one day go by without giving thanks to our Lord for our blessings.
Centuries ago church father Clement of Alexandria wrote, “There is only one offering we can make to God – a thankful heart.” May it be so for us all!
Have a Blessed Thankful Thanksgiving.
And all God's children said,