Coming through a difficult season and off one of my worst weeks of 2019, I heard a voice whisper to me,
“Thank your way out of it.”
At the end of September I was privileged to hear my sister, a licensed and incredibly wise and amazing counselor, speak about the importance of counseling and mental health. One of the key things she said was how thoughts can rewire our brains. The thoughts that accompany depression, if unaddressed, can rewire our brains. But, in the same manner, her studies showed that gratefulness can rewire the brain as well. That stuck with me and thankfully, is giving me a way out of this difficult place I’m in.
Luke 17.11-19 tells of Jesus, en route to Jerusalem, goes through a poor region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered the village, ten lepers approached him crying out, “Have mercy on us!” They kept their distance but they cried out nonetheless. (If you know this story already feel free to skip ahead). He told them to go show themselves to the priest (per the regulations after being healed of a disease or anything that labeled you as unclean), and as they went out they were made clean. One of them, when he saw he was clean, turned back and praising God with a loud voice he fell prostrate at Jesus’ feet and gave God glory and thanked him. Jesus said, “Weren’t 10 made clean? Where are the other 9?” Only this foreigner came back to thank God for what He had done. He looks at that Samaritan foreigner and says, “Get up and go on your way. Your faith has made you whole/well.”
What I Observe. . .
Ten lepers were healed but only one came back to give thanks. The 1st thing that blows my mind is that as the 10 lepers went, en route to present themselves to the priest, they were healed. This means that sometime AFTER they left Jesus’ presence, they were healed – all 10 of them. The one came back and Jesus said, “Weren’t 10 made clean?” My question is (putting his omniscience aside), Jesus, how did you know that all 10 were healed? You’ve only seen 1 of the 10 and the healing happened on their journey – out of your sight. So how did you know? You weren’t there with them as they went and all 10 didn’t come back to say thank you and show their healing. This encourages me because this tells me that Jesus isn’t reactive but proactive. And quite frankly, he’s COLD-BLOODED at doing what he does. I admire his confident swagger in this episode. It’s almost like he’s saying, “I know what I told them to do and I KNEW what was going to happen. Don’t you even pretend like it didn’t. I know it did!” Haha there can’t be a mistake here….I’m Jesus. I know all ten were healed. That’s not even my concern at all. I’m trippin’ on why all 10 didn’t come back?
I GET to serve and love a confident God.
2nd thing and per the title: thank you made me whole. The 10 lepers who went were all healed. The 1 that came back was already healed when he returned to say thank you. He didn’t get leprosy again and had to get re-healed. He already had that when he returned to give thanks. However, Jesus said, “Your faith has made you well/whole…..now go.” His THANK YOU earned him more than just the healing the other 9 received as well…but it granted him a WHOLENESS/WELLNESS blessing as well! Not only did this 1 thankful man get healed, but his faith to give thanks made him whole too. I don’t know his life or what he had been through, but I’m sure WHOLENESS and WELLNESS he received with great joy as well. A thank you made him whole.
I ponder what areas of completeness, wholeness, and wellness, can I unlock as I my mind is rewired as a result of taking on an attitude of thankfulness. I wonder what can open up in my life, my soul, my mind, with a simple thank you.