“Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back…
He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked Him.”
How many times were you prompted by your parents to say “thank you” when you were little? How many times have you helped your child – or someone else’s – to remember? We know how much a simple “thank you” is appreciated by the giver.
Recently our son’s pet hamster died. We knew it had to happen sometime, but there was no way to prepare our son. There never really is a way to prepare for how we will feel in the face of a loss. So we prayed that God would help us feel better, that we would be comforted. And then my son went one step further: He told me that he had said “thank you” to God for his pet.
That was when the real healing began. His gratitude for a gift – beyond his anger or sorrow at his loss – was beginning to make him whole.
Sometimes we have to give thanks before we are healed in order to become whole.
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I did not write the meditation above. I read it several years ago in Forward Day by Day and recently came across it again. It profoundly speaks to me about the intricate connections between healing and thanksgiving: When I am ungrateful, do I deprive myself of the healing that Jesus desires for me? When I am ungrateful, am I less whole? I wonder how long it will take after my next sad loss for me to have the same grateful response as the author’s son. I can hear myself asking, “Why me? Why now?” But I wonder when I’ll also say, “Thank you, Lord, for the gift you gave me for a season to steward and enjoy.”